Goffin Moves Into QFs; Nishikori Out
Belgian downs Vesely while Japanese star retires due to injury
David Goffin moved into the quarter-finals of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2016 on Wednesday after beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 7-5. Goffin earned his 40th tour-level win of the year and moved into his eighth quarter-final of 2016.
Instead of facing top seed and home favourite Kei Nishikori in the final eight, the Belgian will instead meet Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who had gone winless in his past 21 meetings with Top-10 players. The Japanese star was up 3-0 against Sousa, but suffered an acute injury to his gluteus muscle and retired from his second-round match while leading 4-3.
“It was hugely disappointing to have to retire from my match, especially since I was playing much better than during my first round,” Nishikori said. “The pain came suddenly, which was very alarming to me because I have never felt something like this before. The injury happened at 2-0, 30/40 when I had the break point. It was a long rally and the last ball, when he hit the lob, I stepped wrong and felt something.
“I saw the doctor as soon as I came off court. We are still trying to get all the information. I am working with the tournament and the doctors. The first thing they told me is that it was the left glute. I can’t really comment on Shanghai yet. We are still waiting to get all the information. I will get some more feedback today and tomorrow and then at the end of the day tomorrow I should have a lot more information.
“It is possible that the injury was due to an accumulation of fatigue and stress, but I came into this tournament with a lot of rest and feeling very ready. It also didn’t feel related to the other injuries I’ve had this year. I will get examined and hope to recover in time for my next tournament.”
Nishikori, who won the event in 2012 and 2014, is next slated to take part in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Shanghai, which starts on 9 October.