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Nishikori Captures Dallas Challenger Title

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Mission accomplished! He sat on the sidelines for nearly six months with a wrist injury, but now Kei Nishikori has returned to the winners’ circle.
The Japanese star, who ascended to a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings less than a year ago, is back with a vengeance after claiming the title at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas. Nishikori defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday evening at the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, securing his first title at any level in exactly two years (Memphis 2016).

It was Nishikori’s sixth victory on the Challenger circuit and first since 2010. Seeking to rediscover his rhythm and find confidence in his return to the court, the 28-year-old competed in a pair of Challenger events to kick off his comeback. Following a first-round defeat in Newport Beach, California, he gradually improved as the week moved along in Dallas, culminating with his best performance of the tournament on Saturday.
Nishikori needed just one hour and 20 minutes to dismiss McDonald, turning aside all four break points faced. The World No. 27 will look to continue his climb back to the Top 10 at the inaugural ATP World Tour 250 event in New York and the 500-level tournament in Acapulco.
McDonald, meanwhile, is in the midst of an impressive stretch to open his 2018 campaign. The 22-year-old, who pushed World No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov to five sets at the Australian Open, reeled off wins over second seed Frances Tiafoe, former champion Tim Smyczek and an equally in-form Denis Kudla to reach the final. The former UCLA standout is projected to crack the Top 150 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in his career.
Just a quick message to say thank you for all the messages. I played these two challenger weeks to get matches and am very happy with my progress. I feel good and this week was important for my confidence. Thank you!— Kei Nishikori (@keinishikori) February 4, 2018
Source: ATP World Tour

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