Nishikori and Djokovic sweep to title triumphs

Kie Nishikori celebrates his hometown success in claiming the Japan Open in Tokyo.

Story highlights

  • Kei Nishikori makes tennis history at Japan Open
  • First Japanese player to win Japan Open in open era
  • He beats Milos Raonic in the final in three sets
  • Novak Djokovic takes China Open title

Kei Nishikori made history as he became the first home player to capture the Japan Open after a three-set win over Milos Raonic Sunday.

The 22-year-old beat the Canadian 7-6 3-6 6-0 to win his second career title, but his first since Delray Beach in 2008.

"I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I'm happy I was able to do this," he told the official ATP Tour website.

Nishikori, who beat second seed Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, said he had gained renewed confidence from that victory after feeling the pressure of home expectation.

"I have not been able to play well in Japan until now, so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so," Nishikori added.

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"But the match against Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today."

The 21-year-old Raonic, who put out defending champion Andy Murray in the semifinals, recovered to tie the match at one set all.

But in the decider he was broken early and never recovered as Nishikori clinched a famous victory.

Meanwhile in the final of the China Open in Beijing, top seed Novak Djokovic accounted for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 6-2 to claim his 32nd career crown.

The Serbian, who is challenging Roger Federer for the World No.1 spot, took just one hour 42 minutes to win his third straight title at the event.

Tsonga started strongly to break the favorite, but Djokovic retrieved it before winning the first set tiebreak.

The second set was more one-sided as Djokovic broke in the third game and repeated the trick to close out the victory.

In the accompanying WTA event, top seed and World No.1 Victoria Azarenka swept past second seed Maria Sharapova of Russia in straight sets in the final.

The Belarus star won 6-3 6-1 to claim a winning check for $848,000 as she took the China title at the fourth attempt.


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