Nishikori in Australian Open second round

Melbourne, Jan 18 (IANS) Seventh seed Kei Nishikori navigated a tricky first round encounter against former World No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber, downing the German 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 at the Australian Open tennis tournament on Monday.

The Japanese needed one hour and 55 minutes to book his spot in the second round, firing 35 winners and converting four of eight break points while not facing one on his own serve. Nishikori reached the quarter-final stage of the tournament in 2012 and last year.

Nishikori set up an encounter against American Austin Krajicek in the next round. Krajicek beat Chinese qualifier Wu Di 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.

“It’s great to play each other because we trained together when we are really young, like when we were juniors,” Nishikori said of facing Krajicek after his win on Monday.

“So it’s good to see him at this stage. We played in Memphis last year. It was a tough match. He’s a very aggressive player and has a good serve, comes to the net a lot. It’s going to be not an easy one. It was hot today, but luckily I got finished quickly. It’s very dry here so actually I didn’t sweat much. It wasn’t too bad.”

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