Nishikori expects improvement

World number five Kei Nishikori expects to put in an improved performance in his next match at the Washington Open after struggling to victory in Wednesday’s second round.

The Japanese needed 141 minutes to see his way past Australian James Duckworth; losing the first set 6-7 (8-10), before winning the second and third 6-1 and 6-4 respectively.

Nishikori’s next opponent will be the winner of Wednesday’s clash between Argentina's Leonardo Mayer and Slovenia's Blaz Rola.

“From the second set I started playing better, less unforced errors, more aggressive. I was happy with how I played after the first set,” he told AFP.

“It was my first match on hardcourt. It had been a long time since I played on hardcourt. This should be OK for the next match.”

The match was also the first in several weeks for Nishikori, who pulled out of Wimbledon in the second round after suffering a calf injury.