Days after home triumph, Nishikori exits early
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Kei Nishikori's dream run that took him to the Japan Open tennis title last week was cut short in China when he lost 6-2 1-6 4-6 to Sam Querrey of the US in the second round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. The 14th seed, who became the home country's first Japan Open champion on Sunday, won the first set and went 3-1 up in the third before Querrey rallied to beat him. The 22-year-old Nishikori breezed through the first set but needed treatment on his right ankle after which he lost his rhythm.
"I had some pain in my right ankle. It hurt all the way through the Japan Open. My left knee also hurt. If I am honest my whole body is tired. Today I also played to my absolute limit until the end," Nishikori said after the loss.
World No.1 and top seed Roger Federer opened his campaign with a 6-3 7-5 win over qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan. Federer, who broke his opponent once in each set, will take on compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round.
Second seed Novak Djokovic, who last week won the China Open, began with an easy 6-3 6-2 win against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the second round. Britain's Andy Murray, the defending champion, advanced to the third round when his German opponent Florian Mayer withdrew with an injury.
Fourth seed Thomas Berdych and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seeded fifth, also won their matches. Tsonga beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7), 7-5 in an all-French match-up. And for the second straight day at the tournament, a match went to three tiebreaker sets. Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus upset 12th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3).
Meanwhile, the Chinese blogger, who made a death threat against Federer said he had apologised but remained at large after vowing to "assassinate" the world No.1, according to an internet posting.