Kei Nishikori has successfully booked his slot in the fourth round of the Australian Open after winning over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the previous round.
The Japanese seventh seed successfully defeated Garcia-Lopez in four tough sets 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 within two hours and 48 minutes in the Margaret Court Arena.
He even encountered an injury and had to seek medical treatment for his wrist after the first set and sported a bandage under his orange wristband to play in the second set.
Garcia-Lopez proved himself worthy of a competitive opponent when he claimed the second set and even let out a big ‘si’ (yes) when he won. He then started the third set with a huge backhand winner but Nishikori was not to be overpowered.
The 26 year-old, currently aiming for the quarterfinals at the Melbourne Park for the third time, managed to withstand 11 aces against the 32 year-old Spaniard and won almost 83 per cent of his first serve points.
“It was a really tough match,” Nishikori said after the match.
“I lost the second set kind of easy so it was tough mentally … I started playing much better in the last set. He was serving really well and I couldn’t return well..”
“I started to concentrate again … lucky I didn’t go five sets, for my body it’s great.”
Nishikori will be playing against either Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Pierre Hugues-Herbert in the following round.