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Nishikori and Raonic lead wins for up and coming men

Canadian Milos Raonic is on the rise.
by Benjamin Snyder
Tuesday 26 June 2012

With the first day at the All England Club finished and the young American Ryan Harrison into the second round, a number of other talented rising stars have achieved positive results on the grounds during a packed day two at The Championships 2012.

As Grigor Dimitrov, a recent Queen’s Club semi-finalist, took out the No.32 seed Kevin Anderson in four tight sets, here is a look at the winning results of other up-and-coming talent in Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic, who was serving for the match before rain halted play for the day.

Nishikori claims first Wimbledon win
The 22-year old from Japan may not be exactly news on the ATP World Tour as he claimed his first title in 2008. His 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win against Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of The Championships 2012, however, is making headlines. For the Japanese player, the win marks his first on the grass of the All England Club, having dropped his previous three matches in ’08, ’10, and ’11.

Pleased with his win, Nishikori told reporters during a post-match press conference: “It is a big win for me..., and it's this one means a lot to me.”

The win today was especially important for Nishikori, who has battled back from a stomach injury that prevented him from playing at Roland Garros. He told reporters, “It was a little up and down.  I was up 2‑Love, and he came back.  That kind of stuff, you know, it happened couple times this match, but I finished strong.  It was good, the match.”

Due to spending time off tour nursing his injury, Nishikori expressed nerves during his return. He said, “I was nervous.  You know, it's always tough to play first match when you come back.  It took two months to heal my injuries, so I was worried.”

Despite issues with the injury for the past couple months, at the start of the year, the world No. 20 became the first player from Japan to reach the quarter-final of the Australian Open in 80 years. En route to his final eight finish, Nishikori scored a five-set win over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

About his surprise run during that tournament, he said, “I got a little confidence from Australia, to be top 20, I get seeded first time here.  So I have, you know, a lot of confidence [at Wimbledon].”

Raonic nearly into second round before rain washes out play
Another young hopeful in the gentlemen’s draw, Milos Raonic, failed to finish off opponent Santiago Giraldo before rain stopped play for the day. The No. 21 seed, Raonic, 21, looks primed to advance to his second appearance in the round of 64 at The Championships, providing he can secure his next service game. The Canadian currently leads Giraldo 6-4, 6-4, 5-4, hitting 19 aces so far and 41 winners total to his opponent’s 19.

A three-time titlist, including two trophies in San Jose and Chennai this year, Raonic made a major splash on tour at last year’s Australian Open. There, he qualified for the event and advanced to the fourth round.

At The Championships 2011, the No.25 seed was forced to retire in the second round with a leg injury when leading against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

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