Tipping the scales at a mere 68kg and at 178cm, Kei Nishikori would have realised early on in his career he was never going to bank on a booming first serve as his go-to weapon.
It mattered little on Wednesday during his 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 second-round triumph over Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq.
Serving to stay in the first set trailing 4-5, the Japanese 16th seed sent a 145km/h second-serve ace angling away down the 'T' before following it up with a marginally quicker 159km/h ace sliding out wide to the forehand court to for 5-5.
To put the serves in context, Australian Sam Groth thumped down a world-record 263km/h delivery in Busan, South Korea, last year, well over 100km/h faster than the back-to-back aces Nishikori sent down on Court 2.
What the Shimane local lacks in pace of serve though, he makes up for in accuracy and variety – he finished the match with more aces (6) than his opponent’s three.
"I'm trying to hit faster," Nishikori said, drawing laughter from the press "I don't have big serve like, you know, other guys, so I have to I need more, you know, accuracy. That's more important I think.
Of course I want more speed, but like you see David Ferrer, he's making a lot of first serve and more, you know, more control. So that's my goal to be."
The telling asset for Nishikori showed in his statistics off the ground – clocking nearly double the winners (47 to 24) and committing nine fewer unforced errors than Berlocq’s 40.
The 68th-ranked Argentine stuck with Nishikori throughout the first set. Facing a break point at 5-5, he fought it off with a brilliant backhand pass crosscourt from two metres behind the baseline and held for 6-5.
Continuing to plug away from the baseline, Berlocq drew a shanked forehand from his opponent to find himself at set point only to waste it with a forehand long.
It was the only scare Nishikori required to fire into action. He held with a 170km/h ace and took the tiebreak 7-4.
Despite Berlocq making a momentary surge to 3-1 in the second set, the Japanese No.1 went on a tear taking 11 of the next 12 games and with it, the match; one final backhand long from the Argentine sealing it after two hours and 18 minutes.
Nishikori will face the winner of an all-Russian affair between 23rd seed Mikhail Youzhny and Evgeny Donskoy in the third round.
"(If it is) Youzhny, yeah, he's been playing top for all years," Nishikori said. "Yeah, never played him before, but I think he has good serve and forehand. He use slice. Yeah, it's going to be, you know, tough opponent for sure."