Japanese male players have debuted in style at the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London, with two of the three players present at the competition having qualified to the second round.
Kei Nishikori (photo), Japan’s highest-ever ranked male player, obtained his first victory in a singles match at Wimbledon after defeating Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. It was Nishikori’s first match after being sidelined for more than two months by an abdominal injury.
“It’s always tough to play [the] first [competitive] match when you come back,” Nishikori said. “This one means a lot to me,” the 22-year-old player added.
Go Soeda, on the other hand, obtained his first ever Grand Slam victory in the match against Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
Nishikori will play Frenchman Florent Serra in the second round, while Soeda will meet Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
The third Japanese player in the competition, Tatsuma Ito, will resume his first round match against Poland’s Lukasz Kubot from the score 6-7, 3-6, 3-5.