Seventh seed Kei Nishikori booked his spot in the third round of the Australian Open courtesy of a straightforward 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Austin Krajicek.
Having made light work of a potentially tricky first-round encounter against Philipp Kohlschreiber, Nishikori looked in good form on Wednesday, a slight mid-match wobble aside.
The Japan ace didn’t face a break point in the opening set, and needed just 25 minutes to take the opener 6-3 after breaking Krajicek in the fourth game.
A break in the opening game of the second set ensured that Nishikori remained on the front foot until he momentarily lost his stride, allowing Krajicek to break back and force a tiebreaker. Nishikori steadied himself to take the breaker 7-5, but his American opponent may have sniffed an opening.
When Nishikori went 0-30 down in the opening game of the third set it seemed that Krajicek had a moment to pounce, but Nishikori showed his class to weather the storm and break Krajicek at the first time of asking to go 3-0 up. He didn’t look back from there, and capitalised on his first match point to secure his progression to the third round.
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