Memphis Open Day 1: Nishikori talks title defense

Memphis Open Day 1: Nishikori talks title defense

A familiar tournament with a brand new name is underway at the Racquet Club of Memphis. For the past 40 years the Memphis Open has brought some of the top names in Tennis to the Bluff City, and this year is no exception.

Japan's Kei Nishikori is ranked 5th in the world and is looking to become the first player to win the Memphis Open three straight times. Nishikori called Memphis "his favorite tournament" and expressed how much it has changed his mind about indoor courts.

"I used to hate indoors but after winning this I needed to end up liking it," said Nishikori. "Hopefully I can win another one."

Other players, like 18th ranked American John Isner called Nishikori "one of the most talented players in the world," and many marvel at his game. Isner is among five players in the Memphis Open who rank in the world's top 25. Nishikori leads the pack at 5th (just behind the "big 4" of tennis - Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray). South African Kevin Anderson is ranked 15th, Isner is 18th, Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov is 23rd and Croatian Ivo Karlovic is 25th.

Karlovic and Nishikori played in the Memphis Open Finals last year.


American Donald Young pulled a big 6-3, 7-6 upset over 8th seeded Adrian Mannarino and will play the winner of two qualifiers in the second round. German Dustin Brown advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over former Memphis Open semifinalist Marinko Matosevic. Croatia's Ivan Dodig will face American 3-seed John Isner in the second round after a 6-2, 6-2 win over Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia.

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