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Medvedev defeats Nishikori to win Japan Open title

Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan during their single’s final match at the Japan Open men’s tennis tournament in Tokyo Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)


TOKYO -- Daniil Medvedev beat local favorite Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4 in the Japan Open final on Sunday for his third career ATP title.

The third-seeded Nishikori reached the tournament decider without dropping a set but was broken three times by Medvedev.

Medvedev won for the second time this year as a qualifier, after Sydney in January, and became the first Russian to win the Japan Open.

Nishikori was bidding to join Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg as tournament winners at least three times, but struggled from the outset and was 4-1 down in the first set.

Medvedev served too good, winning 32 of his last 33 service points. He didn’t lose his serve from the quarterfinals on.

Nishikori has lost his last eight finals, since 2016.