ROTTERDAM: Kei Nishikori overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6 6-1 6-4 at the Rotterdam Open on Tuesday on his return from the knee injury which forced him to retire during his Australian Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.
The Japanese world number seven lost the first set to the Frenchman but bounced back to win the first round match and will next face Latvian Ernests Gulbis.
“It wasn’t easy, as he was playing good tennis and serving well,” said Nishikori.
“I had a little bit of trouble with my return game and couldn’t convert the important points. I just tried to play steady, as I wasn’t playing bad, and I tried to stay aggressive.”
Earlier, fourth seed Milos Raonic beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(8) 7-5 to set up a repeat of his epic Australian Open match against Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
“It’s going to be tough, particularly as our last match was four tiebreaks, across four hours, in Melbourne,” said the Canadian.