Tuesday, 28th June 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Wimbledon: Nishikori through to third round

By Jacob Akindele
01 July 2016   |   2:09 am
On a rain-soaked day in London, there were no games on outside courts, but Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, squared off with Julien Benneteau of France; thanks to the cover on Centre Court.
Japan's Kei Nishikori celebrates after beating France's Julien Benneteau in a men's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 30, 2016. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Japan’s Kei Nishikori celebrates after beating France’s Julien Benneteau in a men’s singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 30, 2016.<br />JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

On a rain-soaked day in London, there were no games on outside courts, but Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, squared off with Julien Benneteau of France; thanks to the cover on Centre Court.

The Japanese star prevailed over his opponent in four sets: 4/6; 6/4; 6/4; 6/2. In the first set, both players held serve in the first eight games. Serving at deuce in the tenth game, Nishikori’s forehand missed the side line and he faced break point. He approached the net and a passing shot by Benneteau skipped the net and ricocheted off Nishikori’s racket to land out.

The first set was for the Frenchman.
He went up 40-love in second set opener and dropped only one point before taking it. Nishikori held to level one-all. As in the first set, each player won his service games and Benneteau went up 3-2 and Nishikori leveled at 3-all.

In tennis, the odd games are considered crucial and so it turned out to be in the seventh game of the set. Benneteau lost the first point after a long rally, and a backhand down the line winner gave the Japanese two break points. Benneteau cancelled to deuce when he hammered a short ball crosscourt for a winner. A volley winner gave Benneteau first advantage, but a reverse drop shot winner gave Nishikori deuce.

Another advantage to server was lost with a charge to net passed by the Japanese star. Benneteau missed a drop shot after a good serve to hand Nishikori advantage that he clinched with a back-hand passing shot. Nishikori held serve to consolidate for a 5-3 lead.

Serving in the ninth game to stay in the set, Benneteau raced to 40-15 and held when Nishikori forehand sailed over his opponent’s baseline. Nishikori won three straight points for 40-love; but lost two game points before winning the game and second set six games to four.

Benneteau opened serving in third set and dropped just one point to win game on a winning drop shot that had Nishikori slip towards the net in bid to pick up the ball. Nishikori won the second game on yet another reverse drop shot again and Nishikori, to level one-all. The Frenchman held his serve to lead 21 and Nishikori delivered an ace in the fourth game to level two games apiece. The fifth game was drawn out. Although Benneteau had game point he was forced to deuce by a counter-punch service return winner and eventually lost the game

Nishikori faced a break point in the sixth game but survived to lead 4-2. He broke Benneteau’s serve but was also broken while serving for the set at 5-2. Benneteau held at love to reduce the games tally and his opponent did the same to win the set six games to four.

Nishikori broke his opponent’s serve in the opening game of the fourth set and held for a 2-0 lead, when a distraught Benneteau netted a forehand. He gathered himself together to serve brilliantly to a 40-love lead in points. A successful Nishikori foray to the net reduced the score but Benneteau took the game. Nishikori took the fourth game with and backhand volley drive cross court into open court.

In the fifth game, a deft drop shot gave Nishikori the lead in points but Benneteau served into his body to level. His first game point was annulled by a forehand return winner. He double-faulted to concede a break point and a deep forehand gave Nishikori the second break and 4-1 lead. Serving for the sixth game, Nishikori hit a deft half volley off a Benneteau passing shot to lead and he won the game. Serving to stay in match Benneteau won three straight points on his serve, and despite a double fault, he clinched the game with an ace.

Serving for the match, the 5th seed led 40-15. He lost the first match point but clinched the game and match when he drove his opponent’s short ball crosscourt for a winner.
PJA.