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Nishikori wins in three sets in Japan Open first round

Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:55 AM
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TOKYO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Defending champion Kei Nishikori rallied for a three-set win Tuesday in a first-round match at the ATP's Rakuten Japan Open.

Nishikori last year became the first Japanese player to win the Japan Open, winning three of his five matches in three sets. That trend continued Tuesday in his 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-2 victory over Jurgen Melzer.

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Nishikori, seeded fourth this year, went 3-for-3 in break chances against Melzer in the second set and finished off two more in the third to advance.

Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro came from behind in his first-rounder, eventually taking out Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 by winning nearly three-quarters of the points on serve.

No. 8-seeded Janko Tipsarevic also needed three sets to advance, beating Victor Hanescu 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4.

Lukas Lacko posted the day's lone upset, beating seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) while only facing one break point.

Other players advancing with wins Tuesday were Ivan Dodig, Michal Przysiezny, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Horacio Zeballos, Feliciano Lopez and Carlos Berlocq.

The final match of the day was suspended because of rain with Jeremy Chardy, who won the first set 7-6 (7-2), down 2-4 in the second and serving 40-0 against Marco Chiudinelli.

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