Chennai: Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori created a big upset on the opening day of the Chennai Open by knocking out the double defending champion and second seed Marin Cilic of Croatia here on Monday.
Cilic’s dream of making a hat-trick of titles here came crashing down with Nishikori recording a 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 win in the opening round of the USD 398,250 ATP event.
A result of this proportion was in the air as Nishikori, ranked 98, had started pushing his world number 14 rival to limits from the word go.
What followed was an intense two hour and 33 minutes of scintillating tennis as both the players fought their heart out.
The 21-year-old Japanese saved 10 breakpoints in the match and lost his serve just once.
He broke Cilic twice out of five chances.