Nishikori clears first round at Halle

Second-seeded Kei Nishikori overcame a shaky start to beat Lucas Pouille of France 6-7 (7-5) 6-1 6-4 in the first round of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle on Monday.

The Japanese world No.6 fell behind 3-0 at the start of the match but battled back to force a tiebreaker. He was unable to win the last two points on his serve and Pouille got the set.

Nishikori raced through the second but requested medical treatment for what appeared to be a sore left shoulder. He broke serve in the seventh game and served out the match.

Pouille had 34 unforced errors, 12 more than Nishikori, the semi-finalist in Halle the last two years. Pouille has never won on grass in four attempts.

The match was played under the roof because of rain and the roof stayed closed for the rest of the day.

Fifth-seeded David Goffin needed two hours and 47 minutes to overcome Borna Coric 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-3) 6-4.

Qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky overcame Denis Kudla 7-5 4-6 6-3 and Benjamin Becker beat Ernests Gulbis 7-5 6-3 in a match between two qualifiers.

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