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Kyrgios, Duckworth win at Japan tennis

dpa logodpa 4/10/2016

Australia's Nick Kyrgios will play Radek Stepanek after beating Ryan Harrison in his first match at the Japan Open, while James Duckworth is also through.

Nick Kyrgios momentarily lost some feeling in his fingers due to a nerve niggle on Tuesday but still managed to close out a 7-5 6-2 win over American qualifier Ryan Harrison with a massive ace to reach the second round of the Japan Open.

The Australian sixth seed took a medical timeout to have trainers look at his right arm when he complained of some minor nerve pain.

"I felt it serving yesterday in the wet, heavy conditions - the balls are a big heavier. I was never really struggling with it, but I did lose some feeling in the fingers during the match," he said.

"It turned out to be nothing really serious."

The 21-year-old, who lost in the quarter-finals at the Ariake Colosseum a year ago in his debut, will next play good friend and veteran dangerman Radek Stepanek.

The Czech, aged 37, qualified into the field - he leads the ATP in that statistic after doing it nine times this season - and won his opening match easily over Frenchman Stephane Robert, 6-2 6-1.

"He's getting on in age but he's still a threat," Kyrgios said of Stepanek. "There's not anyone who wants to have to play him.

"He's adapting his game well and can do damage on any surface - especially one like here."

Australian qualifier James Duckworth also won his opening-round match in Tokyo.

Duckworth had been locked at a set-all and leading 4-2 against eighth-seeded Feliciano Lopez, before the Spaniard was forced to retire. The young Australian eventually prevailed 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 4-2.

Duckworth will face Juan Monaco in the round of 16. The Argentine earlier defeated Taylor Fritz of the United States 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5).

On a sunny day after drizzle to start the week, Belgian fifth seed David Goffin beat Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-2 to advance, while Jiri Vesely put out South African Kevin Anderson 3-6 6-0 6-4.

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