(REUTERS) – Kei Nishikori cut down the towering Ivo Karlovic of Croatia with surgical precision in a straight-sets win yesterday that lifted the sixth-seeded Japanese to the US Open quarter-finals.Nishikori, the US Open runner-up two years ago, beat Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4), in the final main draw singles match at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which will be replaced by a new stadium with a retractable roof for the 2018 tournament.It was a David and Goliath clash of physical opposites, but the 6-foot-11 (2.11m) Karlovic’s tennis game, apart from his prodigious serve, was overshadowed by the skills of Nishikori, more than a foot shorter at 5-10 (1.78m).The quick-footed Nishikori made Karlovic look like he was standing still, which he often was, as he raced to victory in two hours to earn a berth into the last eight.“It’s never easy against someone like Ivo, he has a great serve,” Nishikori said in an on-court interview. “I made a lot of returns of first and second serves and was happy with my return game today.”Nishikori will play either second seed Andy Murray of Britain or 22nd seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.“I’ve been playing well, especially today,” the Japanese said. “I think I played one of (my) best matches so far. So will try to recover well and play (more) good tennis next round.
The Technical Adviser of the club Abubakar Bala, said yesterday in Minna that the club used the last season “to study life in the elite division now we are ready for any club either big or small”Coach Bala said the performance of the team during the pre-season when the club won four drew four and lost only three matches against established club-sides has reinforced the confidence of management and players that “the new season is for us.”“We had bitter experience last season but I can assure you that the lapses of the last season will not surface this new season”.Asked if the club will still play its home matches away from home, the coach declared: “Lokoja will still be out home ground.”The technical adviser acknowledged that “it is difficult playing home at away because teams have the confidence against you,” adding that “we lost everything playing away from home”.He however expressed gratitude to football lovers in the Kogi state capital and its environs for ” giving us their support always”.“We expect the same support from our fans in lokoja in the new season”.Niger Tornadoes was placed 11th on the NPFL table at the end of last season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Laleye Dipo in MinnaNiger State darling football team, Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna, is almost 85 per cent ready for the new Nigerian Professional Football League season.The club has also told other teams in the league that its ambition is to finish among the top three on the log.