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Klizan Upsets Nishikori At Gloomy Roland Garros

Paris, France

Nishikori© AFP/Getty ImagesNinth seed Kei Nishikori lost to Martin Klizan on a gloomy Monday.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori has become the first major casualty at Roland Garros

World No. 59 Martin Klizan proved too strong for fellow 24 year old and ninth seed Nishikori in a 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-2 first-round victory on Monday. 

“The key was [winning] the first set,” said Klizan. “We were breaking each other four times in the first set. I was down 3-5, he was serving, so it was [a] very, very tough comeback. [Once] I won the first then, then I think I was the better player on the court… I was very focused.”

Slovakian Klizan, the recent BMW Open by FWU Open champion (d. Fognini), improves to a 15-4 match record on the season after he hit 24 winners and converted six of 10 break point opportunities.

Watch Klizan vs. Nishikori Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)

“I was really disappointed with my performance,” said Nishikori, who watched some videos during the one-hour rain delay. “I was playing good in the first set, because I was more offensive and I didn't [commit] many unforced errors in the first set. It could be different if I could get the first set.

“I was playing well on clay in Europe, so it's very sad for me to lose first round here. But it's good [that] I didn't have another injury.”

World No. 10 Nishikori was competing for the first time since he was forced to retire due to a back injury in the Mutua Madrid Open final (l. to Nadal).

Marin Cilic, the No. 25 seed, struck 64 winners, including 16 aces, in a 6-0, 6-3, 7-6(6) victory over Pablo Andujar. Cilic has won two ATP World Tour titles this year at Zagreb (d. Haas) and Delray Beach (d. Anderson).

Elsewhere, Teymuraz Gabashvili beat No. 30 seed Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy dismissed German Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

Jiri Vesely, who received the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates in November 2013 and advanced to his first ATP World Tour semi-final at last week’s Düsseldorf Open (l. to Karlovic), defeated Lukas Rosol 6-2, 7-6(6), 7-5. It was his first victory at a Grand Slam championship.

Light rain in Paris delayed the start of play by more than one hour. Rain returned at 2:30 p.m. local time, sending players to the locker room until 4 p.m.

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