Nishioka claims maiden ATP title in Shenzhen

18 months after tearing his ACL, qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka won the Shenzhen Open by beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the final.

Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka   -  Getty Images

Yoshihito Nishioka became the sixth qualifier to win an ATP tour-level title in 2018 by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert in three sets at the Shenzhen Open.

Nishioka, who was playing in his first final at this level, triumphed 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday as he recovered from losing seven games in a row in the second and third sets to claim his maiden title.

It was an extra-sweet success for the 23-year-old as he had to battle back to form and fitness following a torn ACL sustained at the Miami Open in 2017.

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Herbert would have claimed his major title with a victory too, but he was unable to end his wait in his first final since 2015.

In the deciding set, Nishioka broke Herbert in the fifth game and had three championship points on his opponent's serve when 5-3 up.

Though he was unable to deliver the winning point on that occasion, the Japanese converted at the fifth time of asking as Herbert returned his serve into the net.