Two former champions were bounced out of Tokyo on Wednesday. Local favorite Kei Nishikori was up 3-0 on Joao Sousa before a butt muscle injury ended his hopes of a third title in Tokyo.
How bad was it? Here’s Kei:
“The pain came suddenly, which was very alarming to me because I have never felt something like this before. The injury happened at 2-0, 30-40 when I had the break point. It was a long rally and the last ball, when he hit the lob, I stepped wrong and felt something.
“I saw the doctor as soon as I came off court. We are still trying to get all the information. I am working with the tournament and the doctors. The first thing they told me is that it was the left glute. I can’t really comment on Shanghai yet. We are still waiting to get all the information. I will get some more feedback today and tomorrow and then at the end of the day tomorrow I should have a lot more information.
“It is possible that the injury was due to an accumulation of fatigue and stress, but I came into this tournament with a lot of rest and feeling very ready. It also didn’t feel related to the other injuries I’ve had this year. I will get examined and hope to recover in time for my next tournament.”
I don’t know the nature of the injury, but with Nishikori’s history of not taking chances, I don’t see how he plays at the Shanghai Masters next week. And if it’s severe, his season could be over!
After winning Shenzhen in his comeback event last week, Tomas Berdych’s back couldn’t hold up for his match against Gilles Muller who took down the Czech 7-6, 6-1. Berdych had to receive treatment on his lower back three games into the second set and never recovered after that.
“I had some chances to break but he saved those break points and began to play much better,” said Berdych who was forced out of the US Open due to appendicitis. “Then at the start of the second set, my body was giving me signs that I’ve been playing too much tennis after the last couple of week.”
Tough luck for Berdych who is going to have to well down the stretch to get to London. He won Tokyo in 2008.
Marin Cilic and David Goffin, who are at No. 10 and 11 respectively after Berdych in the London race both won Wednesday.
With two of the Top 3 seeds out, Thursday still looks good with Gael Monfils facing Gilles Simon and Nick Kyrgios in action against Radek Stepanek.
THURSDAY TOKYO SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
 N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE)
M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs G. Muller (LUX)
G. Simon (FRA) vs  G. Monfils (FRA)
 I. Karlovic (CRO) vs [PR] J. Tipsarevic (SRB)
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