Nishikori Sets Raonic Clash
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
It will be a battle of the young guns in the Wimbledon fourth round on Tuesday as Kei Nishikori faces Milos Raonic. The Japanese No. 1 returned Monday at the All England Club to complete a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 victory over Simone Bolelli.
Nishikori is the first Japanese man to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Shuzo Matsuoka made the quarter-finals in 1995.
The pair’s contest was severely delayed due to rain on Saturday and was ultimately suspended due to bad light with the score balanced at 3-3 in the fifth set. At the resumption, Nishikori rallied from a 15/40 deficit in the first game before breaking lucky loser Bolelli in the 10th game to claim victory in three hours and 37 minutes.
"This one was a very tight match for me because he was playing really aggressive and flat, both sides, especially the forehand. He was hitting a lot of winners, and sometimes I didn't know what to do. I was kind of like a yo-yo. I was running from side to side. I think on Saturday he was playing much better than me. But today there were some lucky shots. At 3-All I was down 15/40 on my serve. There was some luck, too.
"There was a lot of stress these two days, especially yesterday. I never had something like this, after playing a fifth set, taking one day off, playing again today. It wasn't easy. But I'm very happy to win today. So hopefully I play another good one tomorrow."
The 24-year-old Nishikori is through to the round of 16 at SW19 for the first time in six appearances and is bidding to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final, having reached the last eight at the 2012 Australian Open (l. to Murray). Nishikori leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Raonic 2-0, winning their most recent contest on clay in Madrid in two tie-breaks.