Nishikori survives scare to advance to second roundJanuary 15, 2019
K Nishikori d. K Majchrzak 3-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 ret; I Karlovic d. H Hurkacz 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(5); B Coric d. S Darcis 6-1, 6-4, 6-4; D Medvedev d. L Harris 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori has survived a major scare in his opening round match at the Australian Open, with his opponent forced to retire in the fifth set.
Nishikori lost the first two sets to Polish qualifier Kamil Majchrzak, before fighting back to take it to a deciding set.
Kei Nishikori is through to the second round.Credit:AP
Trailing 3-0 in the fifth set, Majchrzak was unable to continue after suffering from cramp.
It's a significant reprieve for Nishikori, who was well below his best in the opening two sets, throwing away multiple break point opportunities, which lead to a racquet throw.
He'll now play world No.73 Ivo Karlovic, who also beat a Polish player Hubert Hurkacz in a tight four-set contest 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6.
Karlovic's countryman Borna Coric, the 11th seed, breezed through his opening round match, dispatching Belgian Steve Darcis in straight sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
It was a similar story for Russian 15th seed Daniil Medvedev, who will now face American Ryan Harrison in the second round after thrashing South African qualifer Lloyd Harris 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 47 minutes.
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