Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori began his campaign at the ongoing Japan Open on a winning note as he swept aside his countryman Yuichi Sugita in straight sets in the opening round of the men's singles event here on Monday.
The 28-year-old clinched an easy 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sugita in a clash that lasted one hour and 22 minutes.
Nishikori, who made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 US Open, continued his good run of form in the match as he saved six out of seven break points against Sugita to eventually come out victorious in the first clash.
The world number twelve, who was out of action for nearly six months due to a wrist injury, has made a solid comeback, having won eight of his last ten matches.
Nishikori, who is eyeing his first tour-level title after clinching the 2016 Memphis Open, will now take on Frenchman Benoit Paire in the second round of the Japan Open.