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Novak Djokovic scored his best-ranked victory in almost a year by coming through his nightmare first round against world No. 20 Kei Nishikori at the Madrid Open Monday.Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 6-4, producing some scintillating tennis when it mattered most to register his first win over a top-20 opponent since the Serb beat Gael Monfils at Eastbourne in June last year.At their best, Djokovic and Nishikori were perhaps the game's two outstanding athletes, renowned for their speed in defense and stamina over five sets. Nishikori resisted two rasping forehands but finally caved in two games later, as Djokovic went on to clinch the frame.Djokovic seemingly defied physics by lashing one smash into the net early in the second but found his groove again at 5-4, breaking Nishikori to seal victory in just under two hours.
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