ACAPULCO, MEXICO – Kei Nishikori cruised to victory in his opening match in the Acapulco Open on Monday, defeating Thiemo de Bakker 6-0, 6-3 in less than an hour.
The second-seeded Nishikori was sharp in his first match since capturing his fourth Memphis Open title a week ago, breaking his Dutch opponent six times and fending off the only break point he faced.
“I was able to play good tennis right from the start,” said world No. 6 Nishikori, who was runner-up here last season. “It got a little competitive in the second set once he found his game, but I managed to pull away.
“I feel like I’ve been playing well, with confidence all season,” added Nishikori.
Also Monday, 35-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic continued his strong form of late, beating Mexican wild card Lucas Gomez 6-4, 6-2. Estrella Burgos is coming off a defense of his title in Quito two weeks ago.
On the women’s side, 18-year-old Naomi Osaka, ranked 114th, advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
Britain’s Johanna Konta, an Australian Open semifinalist, rallied to beat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced when Urszula Radwanska retired while trailing 0-6, 3-2.
The top seeds in the men’s and women’s draws, David Ferrer and Victoria Azarenka, play their opening matches on Tuesday.
Djokovic routs Robredo
Dubai United Arab Emirates AP
Playing his first match since winning the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic beat Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday. Djokovic’s victory brought him one match away from his 700th career singles win.
“Every milestone is very special, of course,” Djokovic said. “I wish that I make the 700th win in this tournament, obviously.”
Djokovic, a four-time champion in Dubai, took three weeks off after beating Andy Murray in the Australian Open final for his 11th Grand Slam title. Against Robredo, he didn’t face a break point.
“I didn’t know how I’m going to start, whether or not I’m going to execute the game plan as I prepared,” Djokovic said. “But everything went well.”
His next opponent will be Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri, who won his first match of the year, beating Russian qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-1.
Sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain won his 400th career match, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Lopez, the oldest player in the draw at 34, is playing in Dubai for the 10th time. He reached the final in 2004 and 2008.
Also, fifth-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia was the first seed to fall in losing to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Baghdatis holds a 4-1 career edge over Troicki.