Kei Nishikori shows respect for Alexander Zverev ahead of French Open clash

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori is hoping that he will find the right tactic against world No. 6 Alexander Zverev. 

Nishikori, ranked at No. 49 in the world, won the first set 7-5 against Henri Laaksonen before the Swiss retired due to an injury. 

Nishikori and Zverev have already played twice this clay season as the Japanese will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive loss to the German in a month. 

A month ago, Zverev beat Nishikori in three sets at rhe Madrid Masters. 

Three weeks ago, Nishikori won the opening set against Zverev at the Rome Masters but the German recovered to win in three sets. 

“[I will] look to recover well today and tomorrow,” said Nishikori, per the ATP website. “Especially against Sascha. I have been lost to him [in his] last two tournaments. I am pretty sure I’m going to have some chances, but obviously he’s good player and [a] tough player. So I have to figure it out a little bit with my coaches.”

Zverev beat Laslo Djere to set up a Nishikori clash 

Zverev, a former world No. 3, beat Serb Djere 6-2 7-5 6-2 in the French Open third round. 

Zverev easily won the first and third set, while he recovered from a 5-3 deficit in the second set. 

“I was down 3-5, 40-0 on his serve and you don’t always come back from that score,” said Zverev. “He played a fantastic match, he is playing great on this surface so I knew I had to play much, much better than the first two rounds and I did that today.

“I am happy that the further we go in the tournament the better I start hopefully playing. This is the main goal of my tennis career, to win Grand Slams and I feel in the past year-and-a-half I am on a very good [path] again and I hope I can continue.”