Debut and farewell. It couldn’t be for Chilean Cristian Garín (22nd) who was defeated by Kei Nishikori (39th) 7-6 (5), 4-6 and 6-1 in his debut in the ATP 500 in Barcelona. In this way, The Japanese advanced to the round of 16 where he will face Spanish Rafael Nadal, No. 3 in the world and top favorite in the European competition.
Garin, this year’s winner of the Santiago ATP and holder of five titles on the circuit, entered the second round directly due to his status as a seed. The rival in his debut was the Asian Nishikori, who had just left Argentine Guido Pella on the road in the previous meeting.
In a very even first set, the Japanese stomped in the decisive moments and won the first set 7-6 (5). Already in the second quarter, the actions were favorable from the beginning for the Chilean who was very solid from the bottom of the court and was able to close it 6-4. In the final set, the game broke from the start: the No. 39 in the ranking was much more than Garin, he showed a lot of force with his drive and took the match 7-6 (5), 4-6 and 6-1 .
The history between both players was in favor of the South American, due to the victory achieved in the ATP of Hamburg 2020 by a resounding 6-0 and 6-3.
In this way, Nishikori already has a rival for the round of 16 in the Conde de Godó. It will be Nadal, winner 11 times of this tournament, who comes from leaving Ilya Ivashka (111th) on the road 3-6, 6-2 and 6-4, in a hard-fought match. The manacorí leads the confrontations between both with an advantage of 11 victories and only two defeats.