A week after winning his third career victory at the U.S National Indoor Championships in Memphis, Japanese tennis number 1 Kei Nishikori succumbed to a nagging left oblique injury at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. He retired in the first set of his first round match against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.
Nishikori was up 5-4 in the match against the 150th ranked Karlovic and serving for the set when he had to abandon play. During the seventh game of the set, he had to call on a trainer to work on his side. They were on court for only 38 minutes. He previously won this tournament in 2008, his first ATP Tour title.
“The pain was much worse than last week, and it was impossible to continue,” said Nishikori, who rose six spots in the world rankings after his tournament win last week and is now ranked 16th in the world. According to a source, Nishikori had to take painkillers in the last stages of the tournament in Memphis due to the nagging pain. He is still not sure of how long this injury will heal. His next tournament will be at the BNP Paribas Open on March 7 and then the Sony Open which will start on March 20.
Meanwhile, another Japanese player, Go Soeda, ranked 69th in the world, advanced to the second round. He beat Australian Marinko Matosevic 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6).
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