DALLAS – Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori returned to winning form after a five-month injury layoff and beat American Mackenzie McDonald in the final of the RBC Tennis Championships, an ATP Challenger Tour event, in Dallas on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, who dropped to No. 27 after his injury last August, won 6-1, 6-4 against No. 158 McDonald and took home $18,000 in prize money.
“I’m happy to win and be done,” Nishikori said. “There were moments that were a little stiff, but I also feel like I came back to the game.
“I made it through a few tough matches. It was a good experience.”
He was granted a wildcard for the Jan. 29-Feb. 3 tournament at the T Bar M Racquet Club, his first Challenger Tour final since 2010. It was the first trophy match for Nishikori since he lost to Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in last February’s Argentina Open.
After skipping the Australian Open, the Japanese star returned to competitive action at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, California, last week, but lost his season debut to a qualifier.
Nishikori injured his right wrist while practicing at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, last August and was forced to sit out the remainder of the 2017 season.