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Kei Nishikori, U.S. Open finalist in 2014, loses in 2015 first round

Japan's Kei Nishikori serves to France's Benoit Paire

Japan's Kei Nishikori serves to France's Benoit Paire during their Mens Singles round 1 match of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori's hopes of making another magical U.S. Open run came to a quick end on Monday as last year's runner-up fell at the first hurdle, falling 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-6 (6) 6-4 to Frenchman Benoit Paire.

The 26-year-old Paire, having collected his maiden ATP Tour title last month in Bastad, brought his good from to Flushing Meadows grinding out a three hour 14 minute victory to get the season's final grand slam off to a shocking start.

Japan's Nishikori, who turned in a marathon effort last year recording five set wins over Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinki and a four set victor over world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, had looked ready to survive the opening test coming back from a wobbly opening set.

But after the 41st ranked Paire won the tiebreak he carried the momentum into the fifth set and recorded the decisive break to go up 3-2 before finishing off Nishikori with a thundering ace.


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