Eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title on Sunday, defeating sixth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-0 in two hours and nine minutes. The 22-year-old Nishikori received $308,130 in prize money and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points, while 21-year-old Raonic earned $138,920 and 300 points.
“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. “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.”
Raonic, who was bidding to capture his third ATP World Tour trophy of the title, was hoping to rise to 10th in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London. He drops to a 43-17 match record on the year.