Match report

Ernests Gulbis ©
1st round
10/4/11 1 2 3 Tot
lv  Ernests Gulbis 6 3 7 2
pl  Lukasz Kubot 3 6 5 1
Lukasz Kubot ©
Rafael Nadal ©
1st round
10/4/11 1 2 Tot
es  Rafael Nadal 6 6 2
jp  Go Soeda 3 2 0
Go Soeda ©
  • Nadal cruises in Tokyo, Gulbis outlasts Kubot

    10/4/11 3:25 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Rafael Nadal makes quick work of his Tokyo opener on Tuesday against Go Soeda. Nadal is joined in the second round by Ernests Gulbis, a three-set winner over Lukasz Kubot.

    (1) Rafael Nadal d. (WC) Go Soeda 6-3, 6-2

    Nadal returned to tournament action for the first time since the U.S. Open and hammered Soeda with the loss of just five games in round one of the Japan Open on Tuesday. The top-seeded Spaniard served at a ridiculous 85 percent--including 92 percent in the first set--and he did not allow his opponent a single break.

    Soeda earned no break chances in set one, but he got a look at three in the second--none of which he converted. The Japanese wild card battled well, but he was doomed by winning fewer than half of the points even when he put his first serve in play. A marathon final game at 5-2 saw Soeda recover from a 0-30 deficit and he eventually had multiple game points, but Nadal finally broke to clinch victory. Next up for the world No. 2 is Milos Raonic, a 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(1) winner over Yuichi Sugita.

    Ernests Gulbis d. Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

    Gulbis fired 16 aces and won 82 percent of his first-serve points en route to a victory over Kubot after two hours and 30 minutes of hard-fought play on Tuesday afternoon. The world No. 49 came out firing and used one early break go up by a set. Kubot fought back in the second, continuing to feast on his opponent's second serves. The result was one break for the 56th-ranked Pole, who saved three break points to consolidate the lead.

    That set the stage for a tense third, in which Gulbis had plenty of chances but struggled to convert. The Latvian held break-point opportunities in multiple games, but Kubot stayed strong and held en route to a 6-5 Gulbis advantage. In his second attempt serving to stay in the match, Kubot finally cracked and was broken easily to end the proceedings. Gulbis will go up against Mardy Fish for the third time this year in round two.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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