Japan's Kei Nishikori returns a ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during their first round match at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP))
AP Photo
October 24, 2016

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) Kei Nishikori made a winning return after three weeks out injured, beating Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 in the Swiss Indoors first round on Monday.

The third-seeded Japanese got the prime match slot after the opening ceremony at Roger Federer's hometown tournament which is missing the seven-time champion and Rafael Nadal, who ended their seasons through injury.

Nishikori, who retired with a glute muscle injury at the recent Japan Open, eased past the 77th-ranked Serbian Lajovic.

Nishikori forced the first service break to lead 6-5 then reeled off three more breaks, and clinched the match when Lajovic's defensive lob struck the ceiling of the court.

Top-seeded Stan Wawrinka opens Tuesday against fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli. Two-time Basel champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina got a wild-card entry and plays Wednesday.

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