Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Kei Nishikori was just plain too good for Robert Kendrick this afternoon at the Levene Gouldin and Thompson Tennis Challenger.
The finals were moved indoors to the Binghamton Tennis Center after persistent rain at the outdoor venue of Recreation Park showed no sign of letting up.
The move indoors should have been advantage Kendrick, who has a bigger serve of the two, but Nishikori showed why he was ranked a career best 56 in Feb 2009, and how he reached the round of 16 at the 2008 US Open (beating #4 seed David Ferrer along the way) before elbow surgery set him back in the rankings.
A single service break was all Nishikori needed in the first set, breaking Kendrick who was serving at 1-2. Both held serve the remainder of the set for a routine 6-3 Nishikori win.
The second set was a different story as both players took good care of their serve. The only tense moments came when Kendrick, serving at 4-4 down 15-40, was able to regroup and save the game. In the second set tiebreaker, Nishikori got an early break with Kendrick serving at 1-2. Another Nishikori break with Kendrick serving at 2-5 all but sealed the deal, giving Nishikori 4 match points at 6-2. Kendrick responded with an ace, then a minibreak of his own to get to 6-4 Nishikori serving. Then Kendrick dumped match point into the net for a 6-3, 7-6(4) win.