Kei Nishikori came back from a set-down to demolish Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Argentina Open on Wednesday.
Playing in his first match of his first tournament since his heart-breaking five-set defeat at the hands of Roger Federer in the last-16 of the Australian Open, Nishikori was excited to be in Argentina and competing again.
“This country is great and there are so many things that you can do,” the Japanese star said before the start of the event.
“I am really excited to be back here. Dante [Bottini] has been helping me a lot, especially on clay courts, and for me it is very special to be here because he is from Argentina.”
Despite that obvious enthusiasm, Nishikori got off to a very sluggish start against local lad Schwartzman.
Cheered on by the typically vocal Argentine crowds, Schwartzman took advantage of an off-colour Nishikori as he claimed the opening set.
However, sensing trouble, Nishikori activated his A-Game.
His movement on the clay improved drastically as did his consistency from the back of the court. Anything short from Schwartzman was punished.
The outcome? It took just 74 minutes for Nishikori to claim the next two sets and with it a spot in the quarter-finals where he will meet with Portugal’s João Sousa.
— Argentina Open (@ArgentinaOpen) February 16, 2017
All the other results from Wednesday at the Argentina Open can be seen below:
Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Federico Delbonis (Argentina) 7-5, 6-3
Albert Ramos (Spain) beat Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 1-0 (Mayer retired)
Pablo Carreno (Spain) beat Alessandro Giannessi (Italy) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Gerald Melzer (Austria) beat Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) 6-3, 6-3
Thiago Monteiro (Brazil) beat Victor Estrella (Dominican Republic) 6-2, 6-1