Nishikori beats Gulbis, eases into Rotterdam last eight

ROTTERDAM (AFP) – Japan’s Kei Nishikori carved out a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over Latvian Ernests Gulbis on Thursday to power into the Rotterdam Open quarter-finals.

Asia’s top player, the world number seven, needed an hour and a quarter to advance as he booked a third victory against former French Open semi-finalist Gulbis, who was a lucky loser at the Ahoy Arena.

Nishikori will meet Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, for a place in the semi-finals.

Nishikori, who won his 12th ATP title in Brisbane earlier this year, earned his 10th victory of the season against a single loss – when he retired in the Australian Open last eight against Novak Djokovic.

“This was so much better than my first match,” Nishikori said. “I was returning well and putting him under pressure.

“The second set was tight for a while but I was not worried even after he got the break back.

“I was able to play good tennis in the match, I’m very happy with my level.”

Japan’s Kei Nishikori celebrates after his victory over Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis during their men’s singles match on day four of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on Thursday. – AFP