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Nishikori, Isner, Tsonga Advance To Madrid Second Round

Madrid, Spain

Nishikori© Getty ImagesKei Nishikori will play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the Madrid second round.

Tenth seed Kei Nishikori needed 90 minutes to beat Ivan Dodig 6-4, 6-4 on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open.

"I started well," said Nishikori. "I broke his serve in the first game. He's not easy to play. He has a great serve and he comes to the net sometimes. But I played really well. There was just one bad game, on my serve at 3-2 in the second set. Otherwise, it was an almost perfect match.”

Nishikori Targets Prolonged Top 10 Stay

World No. 12 Nishikori is attempting to become the first Japanese man to crack the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. He won his first clay-court title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Giraldo) eight days ago and will next challenge wild card Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the Madrid second round. 

Nishikori beat Roger Federer en route to last year’s quarter-finals (l. to Andujar). "[Beating Roger] was my best memory of last year,” said Nishikori. “I was very happy about that and I'm trying to do well here again this year."

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga moved to within two victories of the 300 match wins milestone (298-136), when he extended his perfect record to 5-0 against fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The No. 11 seed won 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes.

"It was a difficult match," said Tsonga. "I played well in the second set, but I lost my concentration a bit and then it was too late to come back. But in the end I won, and that's good." He goes on to meet qualifier Santiago Giraldo, the recent Barcelona finalist. The Colombian closed out a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win over former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt.

Ninth seed John Isner, competing for the first time in four weeks, hit 14 aces and lost 10 of his first service points in a 7-6(8), 6-4 victory over qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili. Isner will next play lucky loser Marinko Matosevic, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2.

Isner Feeling Clay-Confident

Dominic Thiem, who has qualified for seven ATP World Tour events this year and has risen to No. 70 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, knocked out Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-2. The 20-year-old Austrian will now face third seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who is seeking his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

Mutual Trust The Key To Wawrinka's Rise

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