(February 16, 2018) UNIONDALE, NY – Kei Nishikori surged through the third set to end Radu Albot’s run at the New York Open on Friday night 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The world No. 91 from Moldova, Albot came defeated third seed John Isner on his run to the final eight.
The first set saw five breaks of serve with Albot playing aggressively, charging the net when he was able. Nishikori said that he was playing too much “defense.” in the first set.
The man from Moldova started to make more errors in the second set. The man from Japan admitted that he was just getting his own rhythm back in the second set. Nishikori’s forehand was on fire in the second and third sets and turned the match around.
“It was a very tough start,” said Nishikori, who is on an eight-match win streak dating back to the Dallas Challenger event. “I think he was playing very good tennis.”
“During the second set I started getting my rhythm back and started playing a little more inside the baseline and everything started working well… very happy to win today.”
Nishikori is very happy to be back on court since returning from a five-month hiatus due to a right wrist injury.
“It’s actually fun on the court, even though I was losing the first set, and I had a tough moment in the second set, I was enjoying it. I was waiting six months to get on the court. I think today was the toughest match so far since coming back. It’s fun to win a match like this.”
In the last match of the day, top seed Kevin Anderson defeated young American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Asked about what he thought having to face Tiafoe, Anderson said: “I’m expecting a tough match as always against one of the best players on the tour, so I have to be on top of my game.”
“I really had to scrap at the end.” “I felt he almost had a little bit of the edge going to 4-4 [in the third set] and fortunately played a great game at 4-4… it’s nice to have served it out.”
He’ll face Nishikori next.
“It’s going to be a close encounter tomorrow and I’m going to have to play good tennis,” sadi the South African. “He’s one of the best movers and takes the ball really early. He’s a class player and is obviously coming back from an injury but he’s been playing quite a few matches the last few weeks, and I think that’s what you need to get back, and I’m sure he’s pretty healthy, and I’m looking forward to the next match.”
During the day session, Sam Querrey won his quarterfinal match over Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).
“I think going into that, a lot of people expected some tie breakers and that’s what we got,” said the No. 2 seed. It was two looks in the first set and two break points, good serves. I was really happy with how I played both tiebreakers and that was it.”
“I couldn’t have served much better. I mean, I don’t even know if we went to deuce, and I had good rhythm in my serve, and that’s what freed me up a little bit in the tie-breakers; you know, kind of lean a little bit on his serve, take some guesses and take some cuts and some shots.”
Adrian Mannarino moved into the semifinals with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over Adrien Menendez-Maceiras. “I played a really good first match; today was not such a good level of tennis, but hopefully tomorrow is going to be better,” noted the winner.
“It’s (the court) really slow, so, you never know if you have to be the guy who’s playing aggressive or not because if you’re playing aggressive, the ball is going to come back and back again, so you have to make a decision every time to see what to do; to be defensive or offensive, this is really a tactic as I said, so we’ll see.”