Cyprus Mail
Australian Open

Raonic overcomes Wawrinka, Nishikori survives scare

Canadian Milos Raonic repeatedly served his way out of trouble

Milos Raonic served his way into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a pulsating 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 7-6(11) 7-6(5) victory against former champion Stan Wawrinka.

In one of the best matches of the opening rounds, the 196 cm (6.43 ft) Canadian repeatedly served his way out of trouble against an opponent armed with an elegant as well as destructive single-handed backhand.

The reserved Canadian raised his fists in triumph after his Swiss opponent misfired on his forehand on match point after four hours of intense play.

Raonic, seeded 16, will play the winner of Chung Hyeon and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round.

Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori survived a huge scare against Croatian Ivo Karlovic before reaching the third round with a 6-3 7-6(6) 5-7 5-7 7-6(7) win.

On a sweltering afternoon at Margaret Court Arena, eighth seed Nishikori appeared set to coast to victory after taking the first two sets but was dragged into a dogfight by the big-serving 39-year-old.

However, after weathering 59 aces from Karlovic, the Japanese held firm in the final tense 10-point tiebreak and slumped to his knees in relief when the Croatian failed to deal with his final first serve.

Nishikori will play the winner of Joao Sousa and Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the fourth round.

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