Aus Open: Federer, Nishikori advance to third round

World number three Roger Federer cruised into the Australian Open third round with a smooth, straight-sets win over Aleksandr Dolgopolov on Wednesday. Japanese hope Kei Nishikori came out on top of an awkward match with his American close friend and practice partner Austin Krajicek to reach the third round at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Roger Federer in action against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.   -  Getty Images

Kei Nishikori beat Austin Krajicek 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.   -  Reuters

World number three Roger Federer cruised into the Australian Open third round with a smooth, straight-sets win over Aleksandr Dolgopolov on Wednesday. The 17-time Grand Slam champion was never in any trouble against the 35th-ranked Ukrainian and strolled to a regulation 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win in one hour 33 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Japanese hope Kei Nishikori came out on top of an awkward match with his American close friend and practice partner Austin Krajicek to reach the third round at the Australian Open on Wednesday. The seventh seed advanced but not before a second-set struggle, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in one hour, 53 minutes on Margaret Court Arena with the roof closed after morning rain.

Nishikori, who has yet to pass the quarter-final stage at Melbourne Park, will next play either Spain's 26th seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or German qualifier Daniel Brands. Nishikori and Krajicek grew up training together at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, and they were facing each other in a match for the second time after the Japanese star won in three sets in Memphis last year.





“I tried to forget in the match. But it's never easy to play with good friends and especially I know him when we were like 15, 16,” Nishikori said. “So it's not easy, but on the court I try to concentrate on whoever is over the net. I should have closed out the second set when it was 5-4 but he started playing better and it was a tight tiebreak. Once I got the tiebreak I was better.”

Nishikori breezed through the opening set in 25 minutes following a service break in the fourth game. But Krajicek raised his level while Nishikori had a stutter in an hour-long second-set struggle.

The Japanese player was broken serving for the second set when he double-faulted and he was far from convincing in the tiebreaker, before finally sealing it when the American's forehand went wide.

Men

2nd round

Kei Nishikori (JPN x7) bt Austin Krajicek (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-3, 7-5, 6-1

Dominic Thiem (AUT x19) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

David Goffin (BEL x15) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2