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Kei Nishikori moves closer to another big run in Miami.

Nishikori Gets Revenge In Miami

Donaldson, Fognini advance on Friday

Kei Nishikori got his Miami Open presented by Itau campaign off to a flying start on Friday, advancing through his opening match 6-4 6-3 over a tricky opponent in Kevin Anderson.

The second seed didn’t face a break point in the contest and won 88 per cent of his first-serve points. Nishikori broke Anderson three times, including in the final game of the match, to secure victory in one hour and 28 minutes. He improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Anderson to 3-1, gaining revenge from losing their most recent match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2015.

“I thought it was a great match to start the tournament. Played really solid. Everything was almost perfect. I’m very happy with the tennis today,” said Nishikori. “Hopefully every match is going to be like that.”

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Nishikori has excelled in Miami in recent years. In addition to finishing runner-up last year (l. Djokovic), he has not lost before the quarter-finals in his past three appearances.

Next up for the Japanese star is the winner between 25th seed Fernando Verdasco and #NextGenATP player Ernesto Escobedo. Nishikori is even in his FedEx ATP Head2Head with Verdasco at 2-2, but has won their past two matches.

“I’ve been practising with Escobedo a couple of times. Very powerful player. He can hit very hard from the forehand and backhand, so he can be a dangerous player,” said Nishikori. “Verdasco has been playing very good the past couple of months. He’s always a tough player and has a lot of experience. It’s going to be a tough one.”

#NextGenATP player Jared Donaldson caused an upset by taking out 28th seed Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-4. The American qualifier, currently No. 95 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, will get a prime time close-up when he plays third seed Raonic in the third round.

Fabio Fognini came out on top in a battle of spins and slices over No. 30 seed Joao Sousa 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-3. The Italian saved two set points in the opening set tie-break before eventually taking the match in two hours and 23 minutes. Fognini now plays Jeremy Chardy, who took out seventh seed Marin Cilic earlier in the day, for a place in the second week.

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