Nishikori still in hunt for a medal on home soil, Kazakh Rybakina sole Asian to reach Tokyo 2020 QF
Japanese star and Rio Olympics Bronze Medalist in Men’s singles, Kei Nishikori has kept the home nation’s hopes alive as he advanced to third round after a clutch win over American Marcos Giron at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan today.
Even as the day’s Tennis came to an end, there was another good result for Asian Tennis courtesy Kazakhstan’s 15th seeded Elena Rybakina who is now standing as the lone Asian in the quarterfinals round of Women’s singles tennis event at Tokyo Games.
Home boy Nishikori defeated Giron 76 36 61 in a competitive two hours and 18 minutes long duel.
Born in Matsue, Japan, 31-year-old Nishikori was stretched by Giron in the opening set but he managed to get over the line 76 in 59 minutes.
Giron bounced back strong to take the second one 63 in his favour in 35 minutes but the experienced Asian star Nishikori turned it around strongly in the deciding set to win 61 and advance to the round of 16.
Nishikori will face Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in the third round (Round of 16) next.
The Belarusian, incidentally, had another Asian opponent in his second round match today where he ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 67 63 63 in a grueling two hours and 25 minutes long match.
At the end of day four action of Tennis at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, only other Asian left in the singles events is Elena Rybakina who knocked out Donna Vekic of Croatia in straight sets 76 64 and will be up against sixth seeded Spaniard Gabrine Muguruza in the quarterfinals stage.
Japan’s Osaka stunned by Czech Vondrousova
While the home boy rose to the occasion in the second round in Men’s singles, the young female superstar of Japan, Naomi suffered a shock exit from the Women’s singles competition in her third round tie today.
Four-time Grand Slam champion, World no 2 rank, second seed in Women’s singles and Japan’s home favourite Naomi Osaka was knocked out from her home Olympic Games after suffering a straight sets defeat 16 46 against Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova.
World no 42 and 2019 Roland Garros runner up, Vondrousova produced sublime tennis right from the word go and ran through Osaka in the first set in just 24 minutes.
However, the Japanese hope Osaka tried to catch Vondrousova in the second set but the Czech was successful to wrap up the match in just 68 minutes and advance to the quarterfinals where she is slated to face Paula Badosa of Spain.
Two Asian teams pitted against each other as Mixed Doubles begin tomorrow
Representing Kazakhstan in Mixed Doubles tennis event, Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev have been drawn against home team of Japan comprising of Ena Shibahara and Ben McLachlan in their first round match.
Results of Asian Players on Day four of Tennis events at Tokyo 2020:11
Men’s Singles – Second Round:
Kei Nishikori (JPN) def. Marcos Giron (USA) 76 36 61
Ilya Ivashka (BLR) def. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 67 63 63
Women’s Singles – Third Round:
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) def. Naomi Osaka (JPN) 61 64
Elena Rybakina (KAZ) def. Donna Vekic (CRO) 76 64
Match schedule of Asian Players on Day five of Tennis events at Tokyo 2020:
Men’s Singles – Third Round:
Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs Ilya Ivashka (BLR)
Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals:
Mektic/Pavic (CRO) vs McLachlan/Nishikori (JPN)
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals:
Elena Rybakina (KAZ) vs Gabrine Muguruza (ESP)
Mixed Doubles – First Round:
Shvedova/Golubev (KAZ) vs Shibahara/McLachlan (JPN)