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Nishikori Begins Memphis Defence; Sock Reaches QFs

Memphis, U.S.A.

Sock© Memphis Tennis/Alex SmithJack Sock reaches his second quarter-final of the 2014 season.

Japan's Kei Nishikori began his title defence at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships with a 6-4, 6-4 win over German Benjamin Becker on Wednesday night in Memphis.

World No. 16 Nishikori, who is the top seed at an ATP World Tour event for the first time, converted on five of his eight break points and dropped serve three times en route to the one hour, 25-minute victory.

Nishikori has now won 11 straight sets in Memphis, and goes on to face 30-year-old Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. in the quarter-finals. The pair met in Memphis three years ago in qualifying action, a match Nishikori came back to win in three sets.

Less than 24 hours after saving one match point to upset past champion Sam Querrey, the 96th-ranked Bogomolov defeated American Ryan Harrison 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. He saved nine of 12 break points faced, while taking advantage of four of his seven opportunities.

The youngest American in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, 21-year-old Jack Sock, cruised into his second quarter-final of the season by dismissing 20-year-old Czech Jiri Vesely 6-2, 6-1 in 68 minutes. Sock had opened his 2014 campaign with a quarter-final result in Auckland, where he upset Tommy Haas in the second round.

American Michael Russell, the second oldest player in the Top 100 at 35 years of age, reached the Memphis quarter-finals for the third time in four years with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win over Tim Smyczek.

In an all-American first-round match, qualifier Denis Kudla took one hour to defeat Donald Young 6-1, 6-1.  Kudla, 21, will next play fourth seed Yen-Hsun Lu.

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BryansBryans Beat Memphis Duo
The defending doubles champions, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, opened their bid for a fourth Memphis title by defeating wild cards David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury 6-4, 6-3. O'Hare and Salisbury, who play collegiate tennis at the University of Memphis, were playing their first tour-level match.

Third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky also won their first-round match, defeating Matthew Ebden and Rajeev Ram 6-2, 6-4.

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