Nishikori makes winning return

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UNIONDALE, NY — Kei Nishikori of Japan made a winning return to the ATP Tour, beating American Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3 Tuesday night in the first round of the New York Open.

The No. 5 seed missed the end of last season and the beginning of this one with a right wrist injury and hadn’t played on the main tour since last August in Montreal. He recently played two challenger-level events and his ranking has dropped 27th after he was in the top five early in 2017.

Nishikori was a four-time champion of the Memphis Open, which moved to Long Island this year after four decades in Tennessee. He advanced to face Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy, who beat Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 7-5, 6-1.

No. 7 Steve Johnson of the US was upset by Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7). Also, France’s Jeremy Chardy edged Stefano Travaglia of Italy 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4; Russian Mikhail Youzhny outlasted Matthew Ebden of Australia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Radu Albot of Moldova beat American Bjorn Fratangelo 6-4, 6-3; and Peter Gojowczyk of Germany downed Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-4, 6-2.

Wawrinka loses

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka blew a one-set lead to fall 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to unfancied Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in a first-round shock at the Rotterdam Open on Tuesday.

The Swiss fifth seed slumped to another surprise defeat by an outsider, after losing in the Australian Open second round to Tennys Sandgren and in last week’s Sofia Open semi-finals to Bosnian Mirza Basic.

The 32-year-old Wawrinka, the 2015 Rotterdam winner, is struggling to regain top form after a pair of summer knee operations.

The Swiss has now lost three matches and won three since returning in January.

Fourth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium, last year’s runner-up, brushed aside Nicolas Mahut in straight sets to reach the last 16.

Goffin came through 6-1, 6-3 to post his fourth victory over the Frenchman in five meetings.

The world number seven Goffin totally dominated as he set up a second-round tie with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, winning in just 64 minutes.

Roger Federer opens his campaign at the Ahoy Arena Wednesday, with the Swiss looking to overtake Rafael Nadal and become the oldest-ever world No. 1 by reaching the semifinals.

Earlier Tuesday, ninth seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg lost to Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 7-6 (11/9).

Serb Viktor Troicki saw off Jan-Lennard Struff 1-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, while Struff’s fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber fought back to beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/5).

Verdasco, Monfils advance

Fernando Verdasco and Gael Monfils won their first-round matches in the Argentina Open on Tuesday, and Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund withdrew from the tournament due to illness.

The eighth-seeded Verdasco advanced on clay in Buenos Aires with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Thiago Monteiro of Brazil and next plays Guido Pella of Argentina.

Monfils beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4. The Frenchman faces Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in the next round.

Edmund withdrew from his scheduled match against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena because of a throat infection. — Agencies


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