New York: Kei Nishikori held off a fightback from Benjamin Becker and earned a 6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the German veteran on Tuesday for a convincing start to his U.S. Open title bid.
The Japanese sixth seed stormed through the first two sets but the 35-year-old Becker took control in the third before Nishikori righted the ship in time to secure a spot in the second round.
"He started playing much better so it was tough third and fourth sets but luckily I got out of the last two games," said Nishikori. "It was a pretty good match."
Nishikori, the U.S. Open runner-up in 2014, will next play qualifier Karen Khachanov, a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Italy's Thomas Fabbiano.