Kei Nishikori beat an in-form Thomaz Bellucci 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to progress through to the third round at the French Open. Bellucci came into Roland Garros after winning the Geneva Open, also his 100th match win on clay.
The Brazilian did well to save four break points at 4-4 in the first set, but increased pressure by the Japanese meant he won five points in a row to seal the set. The No. 5 seed looked like running away with the second set as he jumped to a 4-0 lead, but Bellucci did show signs of fightback by breaking Nishikori’s serve once. It wasn’t sufficient as Nishikori played solid tennis to deny the Brazilian any opening into the match.
The third set went on a similar note with Nishikori breaking Bellucci’s serve twice and committed just four unforced errors to Bellucci’s 10.
This is a big win for Nishikori considering the fact that clay isn’t his preferred surface. The Japanese was very happy to have won in straight sets.
"I have a lot of confidence on clay right now, so I hope I can do well here because I've not had the best results coming here," said Nishikori.
"I feel really well from these two matches. Straight sets against a tough player like Thomaz [is excellent] and I'm really happy to be going into the next round."
Nishikori will take on Benjamin Becker in the third round, who took out No. 32 seed Fernando Verdasco in five sets.
In other second round results, Gael Monfils came back from two sets to one down to beat Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. His compatriot Jo-Wilfired Tsonga was impreeive in his straight sets dismissal of Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
It was a good day for French tennis with three other players making it to the third round. Nicolas Mahut got the better of out of form Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, while Gilles Simon had it easy against Martin Klizan as he registered a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win.
It was Benoit Paire who gave the crowd a lot to cheer late in the day as he took out an in-form Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-3, 7-5.
No. 19 seed Roberto Bautista Agut crashed out after a 4-6, 2-6, 2-6 loss against Lukas Rosol. No. 2 seed Roger Federer had little trouble in ousting Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-2, 7-6 (1), 6-3. His Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic.