• Raonic, Nishikori open Tokyo bids on Tuesday

    10/1/12 10:10 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Raonic, Nishikori open Tokyo bids on Tuesday Tournament seed Milos Raonic will begin his campaign at the Japan Open, as he faces veteran Radek Stepanek early Tuesday. The Canadian is joined in first-round action by fellow seed Kei Nishikori, who takes on compatriot Go Soeda.

    (6) Milos Raonic vs. Radek Stepanek

    World No. 15 Milos Raonic leads world No. 38 Radek Stepanek 2-0 in the series, which includes a 2011 hard-court meeting in Memphis.

    Raonic is back on court following a quarterfinal finish in Bangkok. The 21-year-old won his opening-round match before falling to Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets. Raonic, set to compete in his third Japan Open, is seeking his 40th victory of the 2012 season.

    Stepanek is a modest 20-22 after the Czech Republic's successful Davis Cup semifinal against Argentina. The 33-year-old veteran will be making his seventh appearance in Tokyo, where he has reached the quarterfinals or better on three occasions.

    (8) Kei Nishikori vs Go Soeda

    World No. 17 Kei Nishikori looks to level a 1-0 series deficit against world No. 55 Go Soeda. Tuesday signals their second hard-court meeting this season.

    Nishikori improved to 30-17 after advancing to the final four in Kuala Lumpur. The 21-year-old recorded consecutive wins prior to his semifinal defeat to eventual champion Juan Monaco. Nishikori is bidding for his fist victory in Tokyo since 2008.

    Soeda makes his return to play following a round of 16 effort in Bangkok. The 28-year-old will attempt to break a string of seven opening-round losses in Tokyo since his debut in 2005.

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