SPORTS

Nishikori makes winning return from injury at Swiss Indoors

  • 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))

    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))  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Kei Nishikori serves 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))

    Japan's Kei Nishikori serves 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))  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Kei Nishikori eyes the ball as he returns 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)

    Japan's Kei Nishikori eyes the ball as he returns 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)  (The Associated Press)

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.