PARIS – Kei Nishikori made a first-round exit Tuesday at the Paris Masters just days after a runnerup finish at the Swiss Indoors that moved him to a career-high 24th in the ATP world rankings.
Nishikori had his serve broken twice in each set en route to a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Ukrainian qualifier and 63rd-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky in the last tournament of his breakout season.
Stakhovsky broke Nishikori in the 10th game of the first set and went on to take advantage of a slew of unforced errors by the former ATP Newcomer of the Year in the second set. Nishikori earned 14 break points in the match but could only convert two of them.
“My legs were heavy, and it was tough after just one day off,” said Nishikori, who played his first match after losing to Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors final Sunday.