Nishikori beats Italy’s Caruso, reaches U.S. Open 2nd round
Written by tokyoclub on September 1, 2021
Kei Nishikori withstood a fightback from Italy’s Salvatore Caruso on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the U.S. Open with a 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win.
Playing his first match in three weeks due to a right shoulder injury, the world No. 56 from Japan took control early before the 113th-ranked Caruso tilted the momentum in the third set.
The Italian broke Nishikori twice in the fourth set, but the former world No. 4 used his strong return game and net play to reassert control before closing out the match.
Kei Nishikori of Japan plays against Salvatore Caruso of Italy during their men’s singles first round match of the U.S. Open in New York on Aug. 31, 2021. (Getty/Kyodo)
“There were quite a few dangerous moments in the third and fourth sets, so it was a relief to wrap it up in four,” said Nishikori, a U.S. Open finalist in 2014.
“I’m glad I was able to play well in a difficult situation.”
The shoulder injury forced Nishikori to withdraw from the National Bank Open in Toronto last month after winning his first-round match.
“I couldn’t practice serving until recently,” he said.
Compatriot Yoshihito Nishioka lost his U.S. Open first-round match against Jack Sock of the United States 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, while Nao Hibino bowed out of the women’s draw in a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to France’s Fiona Ferro.