Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori relaxed after a tough first set and ended up handing a straight-set defeat to Portuguese Joao Sousa 7-6 (6) 6-1 6-2. Nishikori, seeded at No. 8, blew an early break and two consecutive set points in the tie-break before he converted his third to clinch the opener.
The Japanese then broke the Portuguese twice in each set to avoid any drama and make the Australian Open round-of-16. "Yeah, (the) first set could have gone both ways. He was playing well. He was serving well. (He was) playing aggressive, using his forehand.
Maybe I (did) hit too much to his forehand. He was using too much forehand. I think I let him do that too much (in the) first set maybe. That's his best weapon," Nishikori said post-match. "But (the) second and third (set), I think I relaxed little more, started hitting more good shots, heavy, serving well.
Yeah, it obviously helps my body to win in three sets. (I) had a tough first and second round. Also for me was (important to) play good tennis, (I'm) very happy to go (to the) next round." Nishikori is set to clash next against world No.
23 Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini in four sets. '"Im sure it's going to be something like today. There is going to be many rallies. He's very solid from baseline. He can move well, (has) good serve.
I'm sure it's going to be (a) tough match," Nishikori said of upcoming match against Carreno Busta. Nishikori is bidding to reach his fourth quarter-final at Melbourne Park. Also read: Rod Laver to Alex de Minaur: You are definitely on right road