LONDON – Kei Nishikori defeated Australia’s Bernard Tomic in two sets to reach the second round of the men’s singles at the London Olympics on Sunday.
The 15th-seeded Nishikori won two tiebreaks 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4) at Wimbledon and will next play Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko or Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.
Nishikori saved three set points before clinching the first set with an ace, and then overcame a lengthy rain delay to see off Tomic. Nishikori and Tomic could only manage one break each during the match.
“I was able to play aggressively,” Nishikori said. “I served well and that was the key to the match. It feels good to become the first one to get a win before anyone else on the Japanese tennis team.”
Novak Djokovic waited out a 3½-hour rain delay Sunday, and when his Olympic match resumed, he paid a heavy price for losing the first two points.
They cost him the opening set against Fabio Fognini of Italy.
The interruption came at 7-all in a tiebreaker, and Djokovic knew he needed to come out of the delay with a fast start.
“I was thinking about those two points and the way I should play them,” he said. “But of course this is a specific surface. Everything happens very fast.”
Once Djokovic fell behind, he quickly rallied and overtook Fognini 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 6-2.
Maria Sharapova won after being forced indoors by rain, but Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams and 20 other women at the Olympics who have yet to complete a singles match could end up on court six consecutive days if they reach the gold medal round because of rain delays.