• Kyodo

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World No. 5 Kei Nishikori safely advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-3, 6-4 straight-sets victory over Daniel Evans in the men’s singles on Sunday.

After allowing his British opponent to seize the first break point in the opening game at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Nishikori, one of 32 top seeds who received first-round byes, turned the tide and hardly broke a sweat in the 1 hour, 24-minute match.

With the victory on the hard-court surface, the fourth-seeded Nishikori, who made a first-round exit from the Rio Open clay court tournament last month, set himself up for a third-round matchup with Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

“I was watching out because my opponent has forehand offensive skills and plays well at the net,” Nishikori said of the world No. 41.

“I hit good returns and broke twice (in both sets), and was able to maintain my pace until the end. Getting a two-set win is a good start,” he said.

Nishikori converted a break point at 4-4 in the second set and never looked back, getting off to a positive start in his bid to improve on his quarterfinal finish here last year, when he was eliminated by three-time BNP Paribas Open champion Rafael Nadal.

“I don’t like it (the court) here but I’m trying to make myself believe that I do,” said Nishikori.

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