Nishikori races through Basel opener

Japan’s Kei Nishikori sailed into the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Monday after dispatching Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1.

While Lajovic held his own for the opening few games of the first set, trading service holds with his third-seeded opponent, the turning point of the match came in the 12th game, when Nishikoro earned two break points and converted the second to snatch the first set 7-5.

From there, the Japanese star dominated the contest, winning five more games in a row before wrapping up match point shortly after.

Nishikori is targeting only the second ATP World Tour title of the year in Basel this week. It’s a tournament he has achieved some success in, most notably when he defeated World No 1 Novak Djokovic on the way to a runner-up finish in 2013.

In the second round, he will play the winner of the match between Nicolas Mahut and Paolo Lorenzi. 

There were three other first-round matches played on Monday, all resulting in comfortable straight sets wins.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic saw off Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-2 in just over an hour, while Federico Delbonis defeated Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4 and Donald Young beat Illya Marchenko 6-4, 6-2.

Top seeds Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic are both in action on Tuesday.