By Chris Oddo | Wednesday February 15, 2017
Kei Nishikori rebounded from a late hiccup in set one to take out Diego Schwartzman in three in Buenos Aires.
Photo Source: Argentina Open
Kei Nishikori has proved all he can prove in Memphis, so he’s taking his talents to Buenos Aires.
Sousa got past Federico Delbonis, 7-5, 6-3, to improve to 7-2 on the season.
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After four consecutive Memphis Open titles, Nishikori is the top seed at the Argentina Open, the second tournament of the Golden Swing of South American.
On Wednesday, making his first appearance at Buenos Aires since 2012 when he fell in the quarterfinals to Stan Wawrinka, the 27-year-old overcame a slow start to defeat hometown favorite Diego Schwartzman, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Playing Schwartzman for the first time, Nishikori struggled with his second serve in the opening set. He only won 13 of 31 second-serve points overall, and just five of 14 in a long first set that saw him broken twice including pivotally in the 12th game of the set.
That brought the crowd to life, and Schwartzman kept his momentum for another four games to get to 2-all in set two, but eventually Nishikori proved to be too tough in all facets. The World No.5 won 12 of the final 14 games, closing affairs in two hours and four minutes to book his place in the quarterfinals where he’ll meet No.6-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Other winners to reach the quarterfinals on Wednesday in Buenos Aires were No.4-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta and No.5-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro and Austria’s Gerald Melzer also advanced to reach the second round.
Schwartzman drops to 0-7 against the Top 5 with his loss. The World No.50 falls to 3-4 on the season.
Nishikori improves to 7-2 on the season and 3-1 lifetime at Buenos Aires.