By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fourth seed Kei Nishikori's hopes of making another magical U.S. Open run came to a quick end on Monday as last year's runner-up fell at the first hurdle, falling 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-6 (6) 6-4 to Frenchman Benoit Paire.
The 26-year-old Paire, having collected his maiden ATP Tour title last month in Bastad, brought his good from to Flushing Meadows grinding out a three hour 14 minute victory to get the season's final grand slam off to a shocking start.
Japan's Nishikori, who turned in a marathon effort last year recording five set wins over Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinki and a four set victor over world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, had looked ready to survive the opening test coming back from a wobbly opening set.
But after the 41st ranked Paire won the tiebreak he carried the momentum into the fifth set and recorded the decisive break to go up 3-2 before finishing off Nishikori with a thundering ace.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)