Wimbledon 2014: Kei Nishikori comes through match of contrasting styles against Kenny De Schepper

Japanese fans were out in force in SW19

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The Independent Online

There was a pleasing contrast of styles out on Court 12 where No 12 seed Kei Nishikori, conceding 10 inches to the big serving Frenchman Kenny De Schepper and watching 20 aces thunder past him at up to 133mph, nevertheless came through in straight sets.

That delighted a crowd composed largely of Japanese, many of them wrapped up to guard against the fierce sun.

Although a contrast of style and size the match was hardly David against Goliath, Nishikori being the best Japanese player in history and ranked more than 60 places higher. His subtlety against De Schepper's power nevertheless made for absorbing watching.

The key was probably how well his own serve would up and it did, not allowing the Frewnchman as much as a single break point.

So although De Schepper finished well ahead on aces, he committed far more double faults and unforced errors too, which proved his undoing.

His only real chance came in the second set tie-break when he led 3-0, only to lose the next five points and then the set.


As Nick Bollettieri recalled in his column here yesterday, Nishikori could not speak a word of English when he arrived at the Bollettieri academy 11 years ago, aged 13. He must have mastered "c'mon!" early and it was regularly heard in an impressive victory.

With a match against either of two qualifiers to come he should be good for equalling his best Wimbledon performance, which is the third round, and will in all probability exceed it.