Kevin Anderson Notches Second Career Win Over Kei Nishikori to Reach New York Open Final
(February 17, 2018) UNIONDALE, NY – Kevin Anderson stopped Kei Nishikor1’s 8-match winning streak and notched just his second win over the man from Japan to reach the inaugural New York Open final 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4). Anderson, the top seed, came into the match with a 1-5 record against Nishikori, his last win coming in 2015 in Shanghai. He won six of the final seven points to clinch the victory.
Nishikori was playing in his pro-tour level tournament since August, when he was sidelined for five months with a right wrist injury. He’s played two Challenger events, winning in Dallas. Nishikori won the Memphis Open four straight years before it moved and became the New York Open 2013-2016.
“Yeah, it’s not easy after coming back after six months, especially (the) first tournament,” Nishikori said. “It wasn’t easy playing five matches in a row and I took three days off after that. My body wasn’t hurting but it was very sore everywhere. Today was okay- a little soreness everywhere but I was able to play and my wrist was okay so hopefully I can get good recovery next week and healthy again.”
The win for Anderson moves him back into the Top Ten. The 31-year-old South African will move to No. 9 should he win the title.
“I’ve been close for the last few months,” he said. Obviously, it’s a great accomplishment, being in the top 10. I was there for just a week a couple of years ago and I’ve had a few challenges to face, but I’ve worked really, really hard to get back to this spot. It’s a good piece of news that you just gave me there.”
This is the second time in five months that Anderson has reached the final of a New York tournament. He lost in the final of the US Open in September to Rafael Nadal.
“I thought I got off to a great start,” said Anderson. “Kei gave me a few freebies in the beginning, but I still had to stay focused. I knew in the second set he was going to raise his level, which he did.”
“I’m just really pleased right now. I think anytime you can get a win over someone like Kei is a great match, a great result. He’s really a high quality player. I’m just really excited to be in the finals here, with the chance to play for the title tomorrow.”
“I think it’s a very tough opponent (of Querrey). I played Sam many, many times. He’s a very, very dangerous player. We’ve had a lot of close matches. I’m expecting another one tomorrow, but as you said, I’m really happy to be through to the finals here.”
Nishikori was asked about his expectations for his comeback: “Well, I’m actually not thinking of any goals. I’ve been trying to get back in the top 10 as soon as possible. Of course (that is) is a goal. Every tournament is a challenge for me. I think I’m back on track again. I think I played a good three matches here. I think I’m playing better again and if I can win a tournament as soon as possible, I think for sure that will give me more confidence. But yeah, the first goal is maybe to get top 10.”
It will be a contest between the two top seeds for the title on Sunday as top seed Anderson faces No. 2 seed Sam Querrey.
Listen to Kevin Anderson’s news conference: