Wimbledon 2014: Kei Nishikori comes through match of contrasting styles against Kenny De Schepper
Japanese fans were out in force in SW19
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.
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Which celebrities were ringside in Las Vegas to watch Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao?
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils