Tennis: Berdych suffers shock loss in Vienna, Nishikori cruises in Basel

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic serves against Marcel Granollers of Spain during their men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on Oct 12, 2016.
Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic serves against Marcel Granollers of Spain during their men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on Oct 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENNA (AFP) - Second seed Tomas Berdych suffered a shock defeat to unheralded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili at the ATP Vienna Open on Monday.

World No. 10 Berdych lost 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 to a man ranked almost 100 places below him, after more than two and a half hours on court.

The defeat will hit Berdych's hopes of reaching next month's ATP Finals in London. The Czech is currently ninth in the race to London, which pits the top eight players of the year against each other.

With world No. 7 Rafael Nadal injured and already out of the London showpiece, Berdych holds the final qualifying position, although with a slender 220-point lead over Belgium's David Goffin, who is playing in Basel this week.

Asia's best player Kei Nishikori played with zen-like calm to begin the Swiss Indoors on Monday with a 7-5, 6-1 defeat of Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in Basel.

Nishikori, losing finalist to Roger Federer in 2011, played a controlled power game to earn a place in the second round, breaking open the second set after a tight first against the world No.77.

"I try to stay calm on court, I don't want to go up and down mentally. I'm glad to be back (in Basel), I missed the last two years with injuries," said the Japanese world No. five.

"It was a tough first set, we both played well," he added. "In the second his level dropped a bit and mine got better."

The event is missing seven-time champion Federer and Nadal, both of whom have ended their seasons early because of injuries.

Nishikori takes the third seeding behind Switzerland's three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, the top seed, and Canadian Milos Raonic.

Nishikori, 26, is one of five players already qualified for November's World Tour Finals in London. Battles for the last three spots are taking place at ATP events this week and next.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic stayed in the points chase to London with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Mikhail Youzhny.

Federico Delbonis of Argentina beat the Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4 and American Donald Young eased past Ilia Marchenko 6-4, 6-2.

Dangerous outsider Juan Martin del Potro, weekend winner of the Stockholm title and twice a Basel trophy-holder (2012 and 2013), is playing as a wildcard after wrist problems stretching back more than a year.