KUALA LUMPUR – As expected, world number eight Kei Nishikori won the singles title of the 2014 ATP Malaysian Open after defeating Julien Benneteau of France at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, here today.
The Japanese took the crown after struggling to beat Benneteau in the first set before conquering world number 28 Benneteau, 7-6(4) and 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes.
Nishikori said he was happy to win what he described as a tough encounter against Benneteau.
“I had a tough start, he played very aggressively in the first game but I took a chance to break him at the end of the first set. In the second set he looked a little bit tired.
“I took a chance again and rose my level of play although I did not play my best tennis today,” he told reporters after the match.
Nishikori took home the winner’s purse of US$165,000 (RM537,817) which was presented by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Nishikori, the top seed who advanced into the US Open final this year, beat Australia’s Marinko Matosevic in the quarter-finals before knocking down Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Benneteau who lost in the final for the third time, received US$86,910 (RM283,283) which was presented by Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab.
In the doubles competition, the pair of Marcin Matkowski of Poland and India’s Leander Paes won the doubles title after defeating Britian’s Jamie Murray and Australia’s John Peers in the final today
Fourth seed Matkowski/Paes beat their younger opponents, who were seeded second in the tournament, 3-6, 7-6(5) and 10-5 in 90 minutes.
Matkowski said the victoy was a good start for his pairing with Paes.
“I think we should play more tournaments together and keep winning more tournaments,” he said.
The doubles crown came with a US$50,130 (RM163,398) prize money. – BERNAMA