Top seed Djokovic wary of 'fighter' Nishikori

 

Top seed Djokovic wary of fighter Nishikori
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory against Russia's Daniil Medvedev (AFP)

Melbourne - Marathon man Nishikori has already spent 13hr 47min on court in Melbourne this year

By AFP

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Published: Tue 22 Jan 2019, 9:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Jan 2019, 11:32 PM

Novak Djokovic must outgun "fighter" Kei Nishikori to keep his record seventh title tilt alive, while Lucas Pouille has a maiden semi in sight against Milos Raonic in Wednesday's Australian Open quarterfinals.
Marathon man Nishikori has already spent 13hr 47min on court in Melbourne this year, more time than any other player, coming through three five-set epics in his four matches so far.
He has twice clawed back from the precipice of being two sets down, the latest against Pablo Carreno Busta on Monday that went to a deciding super tiebreak.
Djokovic, after coming through his own draining late-night slugfest against Daniil Medvedev, said he knows what to expect from the eighth seed.
"Well, Kei won another marathon match," Djokovic said of the Japanese number one, who will be in his fourth quarterfinal in Melbourne but is yet to reach a semi.
"Congratulations to him for fighting back from two sets to love down and break down. He's a fighter."
Nishikori is unbeaten in eight matches this year after winning the Brisbane International, and although Djokovic holds a 15-2 win-loss record in head-to-heads he is prepared for another gruelling battle.
"He's a very talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour. You know, hard worker," said Djokovic. "Yeah, I expect a tough one."
Pouille, the 28th seed who will turn 25 next month, has a former Australian Open champion in his corner as he tries to reach a first Grand Slam semi-final .
The Frenchman split with his long-time coach Emmanuel Planque in the off-season and hired Amelie Mauresmo, who won the women's title in Australia in 2006.
 


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