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Nishikori thrashes Wawrinka at Tour Finals

14 November 2016, 19:11

Lagos - Japan's Kei Nishikori dispatched error-strewn Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 in a disappointingly one-sided clash at the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday.

What had promised to be a standout tussle between the world's third and fifth-ranked players failed to deliver as Nishikori won the group opener in little more than an hour in front of a subdued O2 Arena crowd.

From the opening game when Wawrinka had to save two break points the 31-year-old struggled and Nishikori duly got the first break in the fifth game with a punishing forehand.

Nishikori was ruthlessly efficient and quickly polished off the first set aided by a second break when US Open champion Wawrinka double-faulted to end a woeful service game.

Also read: Wawrinka rises in rankings

Wawrinka tried to pump himself up at the start of the second set, delivering a couple of signature backhands, but he was still struggling to locate his A-game.

The crowd, far from a sell-out, wanted more for their money but a miscued Wawrinka forehand into the net gave Nishikori a break point in the fifth game which he converted when Wawrinka elected to leave a return that floated in.

Nishikori, who could still finish the year at a career-high third in the ATP rankings, claimed some revenge for this year's US Open semifinal loss when he broke again to end the contest after Wawrinka wafted a lazy backhand over the baseline.

Home favourite and new world No 1 Andy Murray takes on Marin Cilic later on Monday in the same John McEnroe group.

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- AP

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