10/7/12 7:37 PM | Kelli DeMario
World No. 17 Kei Nishikori sealed a championship-winning run in Tokyo, having held on to defeat world No. 15 Milos Raonic on Sunday. The Japanese No. 1 secured his first ATP World Tour title victory since 2008, when he won in Delray Beach.
Eighth seed Kei Nishikori was crowned champion at the Rakuten Japan Open after dismissing fellow seed Milos Raonic in three sets. The 22-year-old converted four of 10 break points en route to a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-0 victory in two hours and nine minutes.
"I have not been able to play well in Japan until now, so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so," Nishikori said post-match. "But the match against Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this."
Nishikori completed the day with 21 of 28 second-service points won.
Raonic, looking to take his fourth career tour title, struggled in the deciding set, winning just nine points on serve.
"He just played too well. There’s not too much I could do," said Raonic. "He played better than me and deserved to win. (In the third set), he started playing well, was reading me a bit more, and a few mistakes starting coming from me."
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