Former world No. 4 tennis player Kei Nishikori won his first match since October 2021, defeating 333rd-ranked American Christian Langmo on Tuesday at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Puerto Rico.

The 33-year-old Japanese advanced to the second round of the Caribbean Open with a 6-2, 6-4 victory. Nishikori underwent hip surgery in January last year and then hurt his right ankle while still rehabilitating.

After the match, Nishikori said his body felt heavy but overall things went pretty smoothly.

Japan's Kei Nishikori hits a forehand during his first-round match of the ATP Challenger Tour's Caribbean Open in Puerto Rico on June 13, 2023, against Christian Langmo of the United States. (Kyodo)

Nishikori has been outside of the world rankings since mid-October due to his long injury layoff.


Related coverage:

Tennis: Nishioka beats Seyboth Wild to reach French Open last 16

Tennis: Kei Nishikori set for competitive return in May, June