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Nishikori tops Mathieu in straight sets

Kyodo

Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-4, 6-2 win over French wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu on Wednesday.

Nishikori, ranked 17th in the world and seeded No. 12 this week, will next play sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic for a place in the quarterfinals.

Nishikori broke Mathieu’s serve to go up 4-3 and went on to take the first set after saving three break points in his service game.

The second set was all Nishikori as he won the first four games on his way to sealing victory.

“I was able to put the ball in play in key situations,” the 22-year-old said. “It was tough to play in the wind. Mathieu has a good backhand. I moved him around after he started making unforced errors on his forehand in the second set.”

Against his next opponent, Nishikori holds a 2-0 head-to-head record.