Kei Nishikori beats Rafael Nadal to win bronze medal at Rio Olympics

by: AP | August 14, 2016

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It’s the first time since 1920 that a Japanese player has won a t​ennis medal. (AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Kei Nishikori gave Japan its first Olympic tennis medal in 96 years, overcoming a mid-match lull to beat 2008 champion Rafael Nadal for the bronze in men's singles at the Rio Games.

Nishikori won the third-place match 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-3 on Sunday after blowing a 5-2 lead in the second set.

In 1920, Japan won its only previous Olympic tennis medals, a pair of silvers.

Tennis was one of the original sports at the modern Olympics in 1896, remaining on the schedule until 1924. Then it was dropped, before returning in 1988.

Nadal does leave Brazil with a gold medal from men's doubles for Spain.

Andy Murray of Britain and Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina meet later Sunday in the men's singles final.

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