The triumphant return of Kei Nishikori at Roland Garros: a game-changer

Sunday, 26 May 2024 at 22:42
Kei Nishikori is back in style at Roland Garros with the former World No.4 playing and winning for the first time since last August and he did it the hard way against Gabriel Diallo at the French Open in an utter epic from the Japanese ace.
Nishikori survived against the Canadian 7-5, 7-6(3), 3-6, 1-6, 7-5 in four hours and 22 minutes to win his first Grand Slam match in almost three years. It is his first win at any level since last August and he looked very good in doing so. He awaits a potential popcorn encounter against Ben Shelton or it will be home hero, Hugo Gaston.
It has been a long road for the popular adversary of the Big Four as he underwent hip surgery in 2022 with the aim of returning to the tour in six months and a year later, he stated his desire to play at the Australian Open. Only to withdraw due to a foot problem. But Nishikori who shocked people in playing this tournament too after one and a half years of absence announced that he was planning to make his comeback at a Challenger.
He made the return in June 2023 in Puerto Rico and won the title. He became the only player to win an ATP Challenger TItle unranked. He played at Atlanta reaching the Quarter-Finals before deciding to curtail his season. He then played the Miami Open losing to Sebastian Ofner. But decided to use his protected ranking to play at Roland Garros suddenly and made sure that he was not going home in the first round after an epic win.
Elsewhere there were some shock results as Richard Gasquet rolled back the years also in defeating Borna Coric. He won 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 to show there is life in the old dog yet in similar fashion to Nishikori. Alexandre Muller saw off the Novak Djokovic conqueror Luca Nardi in three sets. Whilst Alejandro Tabilo became one of likely two Rome standouts from Chile to head home. He was defeated by Zizou Bergs 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 2-6 with Nicolas Jarry also about to go out. Also wins for Fabian Marozsan and Sebastian Korda.

HE IS BACK! 🇯🇵 Kei Nishikori comes back to tennis at his style and survives Gabriel Diallo 7-5, 7-6(3), 3-6, 1-6 7-5 in 4h22 to win his first Grand Slam match in almost three years. Also his first win at any level since August. Looked very good. Awaits Shelton or Gaston 🔥


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