Kei Nishikori overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at the Rotterdam Open Tuesday on his return from the knee injury which forced him to retire during his Australian Open quarterfinal against Novak Djokovic.
“It wasn’t easy, as he [Herbert] 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.”
“It’s going to be tough, particularly as our last match was four tiebreaks, across four hours, in Melbourne,” said the Canadian.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov made it through with a comfortable 7-5, 6-3 win over Croatian qualifier Franko Skugor. He will face Tomas Berdych in the second round after the Czech battled past qualifier Gilles Simon, winning 7-6 (8), 6-4.