Miami Open: Kei Nishikori and Caroline Wozniacki Displayed Their Exit Door in the USA

Kei Nishikori, a former world number four, lost to Sebastian Ofner 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the ATP Tour following a protracted injury layoff.

The Japanese player Nishikori hasn’t played much on the circuit in the previous two years; his most recent ATP Tour match was in Atlanta in July.

The 2016 Miami finalist, who was given a wildcard by the organizers, struggled to repeat his practice form and was, predictably, a touch off the pace against 40th-ranked Austrian Ofner.

“I felt like I was playing a lot better and practicing well. In practice, I was very excellent at sensing the rhythm and the ball, but in the real game, it’s all different,” he told reporters.

“The courts moved quickly, it was windy, and he was hitting the ball really hard and fast. I was finding it difficult to make a lot of balls on the court, and occasionally the ball would travel to the center even though I was intended to target the corner, he said.

Nishikori, who is 34 years old, knows it will be difficult to go up the rankings, but he is certain that he can return to the top eventually.

“At the moment, I don’t have a specific objective; all I want is to play as many games as possible. I suppose my primary objective for this year is to stay healthy and play as many matches as I can, but I need some time to get acclimated to (playing matches),” he said.

The 37-year-old Frenchman Gael Monfils put on a show in his 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 victory against Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

He played very well, and the match was excellent. I’m still playing for these challenges and these moments. He said, “It feels like the fire is still there.”

Dan Evans of Britain came back to defeat Italian Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In the WTA competition, Caroline Wozniacki came within one point of defeating Anhelina Kalinina in straight sets, but the Ukrainian prevailed 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.

After a three-year break from the circuit to raise her two children, Wozniacki made her way back to the quarterfinals in Indian Wells this past week.

After being given a fright by Denmark’s Clara Tauson, fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina rallied to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Having finished second in Doha and won in Brisbane and Abu Dhabi, Rybakina was forced to skip Indian Wells owing to sickness and acknowledged that she was still working on getting back to her best.

“I’m pleased with the victory. It will take some time for me to regain my best form, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to play again. I hadn’t actually played in over a week, so it means a lot, Rybakina said.

After losing to Iga Swiatek in the finals in California, Maria Sakkari of Greece overcame Yuan Yue 6-2 to go to the third round.

Sakkari defeated the highly skilled Yuan in one hour and nineteen minutes, despite having lost her first match in Miami the previous two years.

After winning her first WTA singles championship in Austin and making it to her first-ever WTA 1000 quarterfinal in Indian Wells, the 25-year-old Chinese player arrived in Miami.

The 2017 French Open winner, Jelena Ostapenko, who is ranked ninth, had to battle hard to defeat German qualifier Laura Siegemund 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

The three-time Miami Open champion, Victoria Azarenka, overcame fierce opposition from American Peyton Stearns to win 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

In Miami, Belarus’s Azarenka became victorious in 2009, 2011 and 2016.

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