On the R3 of the Barcelona ATP 500, also known as the Conde de Godó Trophy, Giraldo played against the fifth best of the world, the Japanese Kei Nishikori.

Kei, seeded number one of the tournament, was Santi’s rival on last year’s Barcelona ATP 500 final.

The Japanese tennis player just got to the quarterfinals at the Australia Open, the Miami Masters 1000, to the R4 at the Indian Wells Masters 1000, to the final at the Acapulco ATP 500, the semifinals at the Brisbane ATP 250 and won the title at the Memphis ATP 250.

The match lasted about an hour and a half with scores of 6-1 and 6-2 on the Japanese player’s favor.

At the beginning of the match, Kei broke Santi’s serve and, despite the Colombian racquet scored 80% of first serves, he couldn’t keep up with it. Santi had seven break point chances, two more than Nishikori, but could only concrete one of them. In the end, the Japanese player won the first set with a score of 6-2.

In the second set Nishikori kept the same pace and got four break point chances but could only score two of them. Kei won the second set by 6-1. This final score moves him to the next round where he will play against the Spanish Roberto Bautista.

Next week Santi will play the Istanbul ATP 250, trying to get points to move up in the ranking once again.