Nishikori Outlasts Raonic, Wins 2nd Tokyo Title And Ups Win Streak To 9
by Staff | October 5th, 2014, 10:21 am

Kei Nishikori remained one of the hottest players this fall. The 24-year-old made the US Open finals last month, then won Kuala Lumpur and today added a second career title in Tokyo, edging rival Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.

“He was serving really well, with a lot of aces,” said Nishikori who also beat Raonic in the 2012 Tokyo final. “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%.

“Michael has raised my level. We have practised more on the court and also physical work. Beating a few Top 10 guys over the past year has helped my confidence.”

Nishikori has now won his last nine matches and 15 of his last 16 losing only to Marin Cilic in the US Open final. And the result solidifies his chances of qualifying for London.

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

Raonic, who also has his sights on London, finished runner-up in Tokyo for a third straight year.

“It is disappointing to lose in my third straight [Tokyo] final,” said Raonic. “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.”

Both players will head to Shanghai.

“I am playing at a really high level,” Raonic said. “Kei has, consistently over the past few weeks, also played at a high level. The match was high quality and I look forward to the next challenge in Shanghai. I need to turn up there with the right attitude and fight again.”

You Might Like:
Del Potro, Tsonga; Nishikori Defends at ATP Tokyo
ATP London Race (29 Sept 14): Murray Moves Up, Nishikori Strengthens London Bid
Japanese Hero Kei Nishikori Stars In Tokyo Title Defense; Stan Wawrinka The Top Seed
Raonic Returns From Wrist Surgery With A Win In Tokyo
Defending Champion Stan Wawrinka Withdraws From Tokyo With A Back Injury

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

8 Comments for Nishikori Outlasts Raonic, Wins 2nd Tokyo Title And Ups Win Streak To 9

jane Says:

congrats to kei; it must feel great to win at home. did not realize it was milos’ 3rd try there. kei seems to have his number.

contador Says:

Raonic’s post match analysis is spot on. I though the bigger guy was playing very well – and the match could have gone either way.

Not sure I’d say that Kei has got Milos’ number as yet – thinking that this is a maybe a proper rivalry in the making. Hopefully they both make the WTF.

Nice win for Kei in front of the home crowd.

jane Says:

yeah, you’re probably right contador; 3-1 h2h, so it could still be a good rivalry in the making. their styles are clearly very different, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out between them as they each evolve.

contador Says:

Their styles are quite strikingly opposite and to me it is no small feat for Kei to manage wins against Milos, considering the size mismatch. Imagine if Kei was say, Nole’s size…

What I like about Raonic is his demeanor. Very thoughtful young man – actually, both these guys are personally very likable.

(yes, I am missing Delpo, too)

Hippy Chick Says:

Congrats to Kei on back to back titles,one of my favorite players from the new generartion,nice win at home backing up what he did last week,a great few weeks hes had,shame he ran out of steam after that fabulous win against Novak in the USO final,now go and do it now Kei in a GS….

Hippy Chick Says:

Milos is a nice guy,but not a player i can warm to somehow,he style of tennis leaves me feeling rather cold,rather than excited,sorry but i guess thats me with a problem not him….

RZ Says:

Nice win for Kei! Always good to see a home favorite win a tournament. And good tournament by Raonic who moved up in the WTF running.

James Says:

Great win for Kei. He leads the head to head with quite a few top players now. Milos, Dimitrov, Berdych, Ferrer, Djokovic. He can win a Grand Slam title.

Top story: Andy Murray Withdraws From Cologne Due To Pelvic Injury