Nishikori wins Barcelona Open

Kei Nishikori of Japan beats Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 to win his first career title on a clay surface.

    Nishikori Barcelona triumph  is the first time a non-Spaniard has won the tournament at the since 1996 [AFP]
    Nishikori Barcelona triumph is the first time a non-Spaniard has won the tournament at the since 1996 [AFP]

    Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the Barcelona Open to win his first career title on clay.

    World No 65 Giraldo had knocked off three seeded players on the way to reaching the second final of his career but was let down by his serve during a one-sided contest. 

    My next goal is to get to the top 10.

    Kei Nishikori, Barcelona Open champion

    The Comombian started well with an early break in his favour but an argument with the chair regarding a line call seemed to rattle the unseeded player.

    Giraldo then failed to reach Nishikori's drop shot before hitting a costly double fault to cede back his serve.

    Nishikori went on to win eight straight games to claim the first set and take control of the match.

    "There are three big tournaments coming up in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros so I hope I can do well and increase my (ranking) points. My next goal is to get to the top 10." said Nishikori.

    It was fourth-seeded Nishikori's fifth career title on all surfaces and is the first time a non-Spaniard has won the tournament at the since 1996. Rafael Nadal won the tournament eight times during that period.

    Nishikori is coached by former French Open winner Michael Chang and Dante Bottini.

    "I was good on clay when I was little," Nishikori said.

    "I was winning all the European juniors events. Now it's much tougher than hard courts and I was struggling a bit, but I've been playing well these past couple years so there's no fear to play on clay."



     

    SOURCE: AP


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