World No. 6 Alexander Zverev was extremely happy with his second round performance at the Madrid Masters against Kei Nishikori. Zverev, seeded at No. 5, beat former world No. 4 Nishikori 6-3 6-2 to advance to the Madrid round-of-16.
Nishikori claimed the first break of the match to take a 3-2 lead but Zverev then won four consecutive games to steal the opener. Zverev then broke Nishikori twice in the second set and lost no service games to book a straight-set win.
“It was clinical,” said Zverev, who faced one break point en route to the 2018 Madrid title. “Kei is someone who has done well here, reaching the final and he has beaten me on clay before. I’m definitely happy with this performance.
I have practised my serve since Munich and the altitude helps too. It was a good match from my side, I feel comfortable here. When I get hot, let’s see what happens”.
Zverev lost only two games after getting broken
After Nishikori took a 3-2 first-set lead, Zverev dominated the rest of the match.
"I was very pleased with my all-around performance today," said Zverev. "Yes, my serve was working out pretty well. I think my returns [and] my backhand was also working out pretty well. All around, it was a good match for me, because against someone like Kei, you need to win the match yourself.
He's not going to give anything to you. I felt like I did that well today." Meanwhile, top-ranked Japanese tennis player Nishikori was happy with his performance against Zverev though he suffered a straight-set loss.
"I played at high level today, I was a bit confident at the beginning. But he played even better than me the whole time. I should have held my service games, but balls fly too much and (his) serve is faster on the surface here, and the court was small today, it was difficult, especially to return," Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera.
"t's not easy for me, I always play tough opponents like former champion of the event (Nadal in Barcelona, Zverev in Madrid), feel like I'm a bit unlucky. Just believe my chance will come some day and keep going."
Nishikori is also planning to play the Rome Masters ahead of the French Open. "I'm not planning to play an ATP 250 after Rome, I'd not say that will never happen, but don't have the plan at the moment."