Australian Open - Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori advance to Australian Open third round

Australian Open - Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori advance to Australian Open third round

Australian Open - Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori advance to Australian Open third round

Milos Raonic kept holding off Stan Wawrinka, denying him opportunities to take the second, third and fourth sets en route to a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (11), 7-6 (5) victory that put the 16th-seeded Canadian into the third round at Melbourne Park for the eighth time in nine appearances.

The match was interrupted for about a half-hour while the roof at Rod Laver Arena was shut because of rain at 4-all in the third set.

In a match that lasted almost four hours in the Melbourne heat, Nishikori rallied in the decider after giving up a two-set lead to clinch the 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (10-7) victory. "Now I am nearly 40".

"I was trying to play but he was playing fantastic tennis (in the first two sets)", said Nishikori, who has previously made three grand slam semi-finals.

"I had a lot of ups and downs in 2018, and I'm trying to fix parts of my game", Chung said.

The 22-year-old, who was the 2017 ATP NextGen Finals champion, is now ranked 25 but will plummet when the new rankings are announced post-Melbourne and his points from last year drop off his record.

Raonic moves on to face Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who scored a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over South Korea's Hyeon Chung, a semifinalist past year.

Japanese star Naomi Osaka surged into the Australian Open third round on Thursday as she targets a second Grand Slam title, but it was a much harder task for countryman Kei Nishikori who fought through a draining five-set epic.

Nishikori isn't making it easy on himself so far this tournament after losing the first two sets of his first-round contest and then allowing Karlovic to get back into this match. Pushed to that deciding set by getting broken to end the second, Venus ran away with the win down the stretch, defeating Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. "This was my first time playing her, so I'm just really happy to be win to be honest".

Hsieh Su-wei advanced 6-3, 6-4 over Laura Siegemund, who had beaten two-time champion Victoria Azarenka in the first round.

Nothing could separate them in the opening ten games of the third set and out of sudden it was Ivo who gained the advantage on the return, breaking Kei at love in game 11 before closing the set on own serve a few minutes later for a 7-5. But as even as the match was in many respects - Raonic only won two more points overall, 163-161 - Wawrinka couldn't come through when he really needed to.

Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev served 29 aces in a late-finishing 7-6 (5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (6), 6-1 win over Jeremy Chardy to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

Serena Williams plays Eugenie Bouchard to open night play on the main show court, followed by top-seeded Novak Djokovic's match against former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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