2014/10/20

Stosur Wins Third Japan Open Title

(October 12, 2014) Defending champion Sam Stosur won her third Japan Women’s Open title on Sunday, pushing back Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-6 (9-7), 6-3.

“Zarina played very good match today,” said the 30-year-old Australian Stosur who saved two set points in the first set. “She managed to put me under a lot of pressure and returned serve really well. She gets to a lot of balls and can put you under pressure. You have to be out there and try to attack.”

“It was my first final so I am happy with how I played, said the 20-year-old. “She served very well and it was tough, especially on those set points. But this was a great experience for me.”

“Trying to serve out a set in a final, I don’t know if maybe she was a little nervous but I tried to play a little bit more aggressive or put a bit more on my shots to make her come up with something else, Stosur said.”

It’s Stosur’s sixth career title and half of them have come in Osaka.

Sam Stosur

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Kei Nishikori Wins Japan Open Crown

Kei Nishikori withdrawal

(October 5, 2014) Japan’s top player, fourth seed Kei Nishikori won his second Japan Open title on Sunday in Tokyo, taking out the third seed, Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.

For Nishkori, it’s his fourth ATP World Tour title of the year and second in two week. He won last week in Kuala Lumput. for Raonic, it’s his third straight loss in the final of Tokyo.

Nishikori is fifth in the ATP Race to London with five berths up for grabs to compete in the ATP World Tour Finals.

 

“I hope to get to London,” Nishikori said. “I am getting close, but there are two more Masters 1000s and 500s left. These next few weeks will be really important for me.”

“He was serving really well, with a lot of aces. Luckily, I got the first tie-break and that helped my motivation for the match. If I had lost the tie-break, I might have screwed up the whole match. He started aggressively and I think it was one of my toughest games against Milos. I am really happy to win. He had a lot of chances in the third set; he almost broke my serve a couple of times.

“It’s the first time I have won a title two weeks in a row. After the US Open, it was hard to maintain my motivation. I had to stay strong and focused, especially this week when I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.”

“It is disappointing to lose in my third straight [Tokyo] final,” Raonis said. “To be honest with you, other than the first year [2012] I felt I created my opportunities. Against Kei, he just played better when it came down to the third set [in 2012]. I have felt I have always been in the thick of things the past two years, so I would say two years ago was more disappointing.

“It was a great match. We both played a high level of tennis. At the beginning, the match was passing by really quick, but in the second and third set it was really good. He has been playing with a lot of confidence, he went for his shots and it paid off.”

The 24 year-old, who was US Open finalist, has a 49-10 record on the year.

 

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Nishikori Wins Japan Open

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo on Sunday when he stopped the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic for the title 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 for his second career ATP World Tour title. His first tournament win came at Delray Beach in 2008 as a qualifier.

Nishikori, from Shimane Prefecture in southern Japan, ranked No. 17 in the world and rising, delighted his home crowd with the win.

”To have won this tournament in Japan is a very happy occasion for me,” Nishikori said. ”I made an effort to approach today’s match as the challenger.”

”I wish I could have started off serving better,” Raonic said. ”He was reading my serve really well from the beginning and that usually doesn’t happen. I didn’t create the opportunities and go for it like the previous two days.’

“He just played too well. There’s not too much I could do. He played better than me and deserved to win. [In the third set], he started playing well, was reading me a bit more, and a few mistakes starting coming from me.”

“I have not been able to play well in Japan until now,” Nishikori said, “so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so. But [after] the match against [Tomas] Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this.

“He (Milos) attacks on his returns and goes up to the net quickly. And he is willing to take risks. I watched him play [Andy] Murray. Despite the break in the first game, there were some dangerous moments in the first set. I tried to stay aggressive. I was able to continue doing so and was able to get the final set 6-0.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Kei Nishikori on becoming the first Japanese man to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title in Tokyo,” ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett said. Kei is a terrific player who is already a star at home in Japan and among the Top 20 players in the world. I’m sure this historic win over a very difficult field in Tokyo will give him great confidence and we look forward to seeing all that he can do. Kei has a very bright future on the ATP World Tour and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

This was the youngest ATP final of the year with 21-year-old Raonic playing 22-year-old Nishikori in their first encounter.

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