WATCH: Qualifier Gives a Throat Slitting Impression to Kei Nishikori at Indian Wells Masters 2021

Published 10/08/2021, 1:09 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Japan’s Kei Nishikori before his group stage match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Portuguese tennis player Joao Sousa, who entered the Indian Wells Masters 2021 main draw as a qualifier, met Kei Nishikori in the opening round. Interestingly, he also won the first set against the Japanese former World No.4 but eventually lost 7-6 (5), 3-6, 2-6. However, his hilarious throat-slitting ‘threat’ to Kei during the warm-up remained one of the highlights of the match. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What happened was Nishikori accidentally hit Sousa while warming up his serve. In response, the Portuguese made the throat-slitting impression at him, obviously in a light-hearted manner. Accordingly, Nishikori apologized with his hands while laughing at his opponent’s warning. Even Sousa broke out of character and gave a smile in the end.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Steal Smelly Old Tennis Shoes”: Andy Murray Received Foot Massage After Losing His Shoes and Wedding Ring at Indian Wells 2021

14 days ago

Kei Nishikori and Joao Sousa’s hilarious moment in Indian Wells 2021 R1

Tennis-wise, Nishikori against Sousa was one of the most entertaining starts to the Indian Wells Masters 2021. Besides, their warm-up moment certainly warmed up everyone watching the match. Nishikori broke into laughter after Joao’s ‘threat’ as he apologized for the misplaced serve. 

After losing the opening set, the Japanese professional let loose and started finding his shots on the court. Once Kei found his confidence back, he did not let Joao come back into the match.

Ultimately, Nishikori got the better of his opponent in the second and third set of their encounter. Although the Portuguese qualifier put on a notable fight, he did not have the answers to the Japanese’s swift attack.

Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

Who will Nishikori face next in Indian Wells?

With his win over Sousa, Nishikori is through to the second round in tennis paradise. Now, he will meet British No.1, Dan Evans, as per the main draw

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Aug 6, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Notably, the couple has met each other on four occasions before this. In their head-to-head, Nishikori has a 3-1 advantage over Evans. Besides, they last battled on clay at Roland-Garros, where the Japanese came through in the fifth set. 

What’s interesting is that Nishikori and Evans have played against one another in Indian Wells before. Even in that match in 2017, the Japanese won in straight sets.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Without any doubt, Evans will hope to get the better of Nishikori this time. On the other hand, the Japanese star will aim to extend his lead over Evans. Hence, a great tennis match is in the prospects for tennis fans in the desert. Who do you think will win this one?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1230 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT