Japanese tennis ace Kei Nishikori needed only two hours and six minutes to dispatch Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-3 in the third round of the Australian Open. He is now just a few steps to matching his surprise quarterfinal appearance in the tournament last year.
He will next face fourth seed David Ferrer, who also win in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 against Cypriot No. 28 Marcos Baghdatis. Nishikori leads Ferrer 2-1 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head matches and they last faced each other at the London 2012 Olympics where the Japanese prevailed over the Spaniard. Ferrer said their fourth round match will be a more difficult test for him and he needs to be more consistent and solid if he wants to beat his opponent. For his part, Nishikori said he feels very confident with the way he’s playing now and he feels in great shape, despite the niggling knee injury that forced him out of the Brisbane International a few weeks ago.
2012 was a great year for Nishikori. He finished inside the top 20 for the first time and he won the Japan Open, the first Japanese male to do so. His quarterfinal finish in the 2012 Australian Open was also the best ever finish for a Japanese male in any Grand Slam tournament. He looks to better that record this year.
[ via ATP World Tour ]
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