Fourth seed Kei Nishikori crashed out in the first round of the U.S. Open, failing 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6) 6-4 to Frenchman Benoit Paire in a thrilling encounter yesterday.
The 26 year-old Paire brought his good form to Flushing Meadows, pushing his opponent to a three hour 14 minute match to get the season’s final grand slam off to an explosive start.
“To beat Nishikori for me, was impossible to imagine this,” said the 41st ranked Paire.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2015
On the other hand, last year’s runners up Nishikori admitted he had lost his concentration as the match progressed.
“I had match point and I kind of lost a little bit my forehand. I mean, tiebreak can go both ways so maybe I lost a little bit of concentration but he (Paire) was hitting good serves too,” Nishikori told Eurosports.
Especially the first couple games in the fifth set, I lost my concentration and he returned well, too. I mean, credit for him, too, playing good tennis with these conditions.”
The Japanese would be gutted with his exit though, after turning in a marathon effort last year to reach the final, beating world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals before eventually losing to Croatian Marin Cilic.