Nishikori Falls in Comeback Match, Wozniacki Eliminated in Miami – 2024-03-22 08:19:16

Kei Nishikori, the former world number four, suffered defeat in his comeback match on the ATP Tour after a long injury layoff. (AFP)

Former world number four Kei Nishikori’s return to the ATP Tour after a lengthy injury layoff ended in a 6-3, 6-4 first-round defeat by Sebastian Ofner.

Japan’s Nishikori has barely played on tour in the past two years, with his last ATP Tour appearance in July in Atlanta.

Given a wild card by the organizers, the Miami 2016 finalist was a bit slow in his match against 40th-ranked Austrian Ofner due to difficulties in replicating his training performance.

“I think I trained well, played much better. I felt the rhythm and the ball were very good in training but during the match, everything was different,” Nishikori told reporters.

“There was wind, he hit the ball very hard, very fast, fast pitch. I struggled to get many balls on the pitch and just little things I didn’t do, maybe I should have hit the corner but the ball went to the middle sometimes,” he added.

At 34 years old, Nishikori faces a real challenge to climb back up the rankings, but he believes that with time, he can return to an elite level.

Also read: Injured, Andreescu stops in the last 16 of the Miami Open

“I don’t have a clear goal at the moment, I just want to play a lot of games. I need time to get used to (the games) and hopefully I can stay healthy, I think that’s the only goal this year, I’m trying to play as many games as possible, he said.

Caroline Wozniacki lost

In the WTA event, Caroline Wozniacki almost won in straight sets against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina but eventually lost 7-5, 5-7, 4-6.

Wozniacki, who returned to the tour last year after a three-year absence, during which she gave birth to two children, reached the quarter-finals in Indian Wells last week.

Also read: Returning to the England National Team Covers Joe Gomez’s Injury

Maria Sakkari of Greece, who lost in the final to Iga Swiatek in California, beat Yuan Yue 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round.

Sakkari lost his opening match at Miami in the last two years but he overcame the in-form Yuan, in one hour and 19 minutes.

The 25-year-old Chinese comes to Miami after winning her first WTA singles title in Austin and then reaching her first WTA 1000 quarter-final in Indian Wells. (AFP/Z-3)

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