Nishikori holds nerve against Paire
Kei Nishikori has seen off Benoit Paire to advance at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, continuing his fine start to 2019.
The Japanese top seed has reached at least the quarter-finals stage of each event he has played so far this season.
Tuesday’s opening round clash against Paire proved to be more testing than initially expected, but Nishikori held his nerve to see it out 6-4 6-3.
Nishikori faced eight break points and remains on track to win his first ATP 500 title in more than three-and-a-half years.
"[It is] never easy playing Benoit," said Nishikori. "[He has a] great serve [and a] great backhand... I think the key was the longest game at 2-1. [I was] able to get the game. I was more confident. If he broke back, anything [could have] happened. It was a good match."
Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.