Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals

Cash praises impressive Novak Djokovic for winning without playing at best
Novak Djokovic vs Kei Nishikori, Australian Open 2019 - live score updates
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27 January, 2019

Pouille reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2016 but struggled to build on that and endured a disappointing 2018.

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.

He will next play either six-time Australian titlist Novak Djokovic or eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori.

The odds were stacked heavily against the 28th seeded Pouille on his arrival in Melbourne after he lost all three of his singles matches for France in the Hopman Cup before making a first-round exit in Sydney. It could be from that and also, something happened today during the match.

"I'm looking forward for a battle", Djokovic said. "There's always a few people in there that are not happy with the world of tennis, but I think you have to compete".

"I think she's bringing a lot of confidence to my game, to my personality, to my state of mind", said Pouille.

Kei Nishikori has his legs worked on by the trainer. Teenagers Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin reached the third round. But now he's into his first Grand Slam semifinal.

"(Pouille) has won against some top players.

His message to the players with unfulfilled talent?

Nishikori, on the other hand, has displayed brilliant spirit throughout the tournament.

There can be benefits to being on live TV when you're far from home.

"Before the match, I was okay".

"I'm still leading two sets to one, so I don't have to panic".

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This is the 18th time the Japanese star has retired in a tournament, and the fifth time in a grand slam.

Speaking to Channel 9 commentator Jim Courier on court after the win, Djokovic attempted some of the local vernacular when asked to explain his spectacular success at the Australian Open. I was a little bit too passive. "At a certain point, he gives in mentally", McEnroe said. "It was just too tough." he said.

Given their pedigree, most are preparing for a Djokovic-Nadal clash on Sunday; a resumption of the most played match in the Open-era.

Day 2 of the quarter-finals in Melbourne sees Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic hoping to book a place in the semi-finals.

Then, after falling behind 4-1 in the second, Nishikori realised he could not go on and abandoned the match. Osaka v Svitolina starts at 5.30 am IST while Serena v Pliskova is scheduled for 7.30 am IST.

Maintaining a winning percentage of 85% in the first serve and 100% in the second, Djokovic was well on top of his game.

The victor of Wednesday's match will meet U.S. Open champion and fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.

Osaka's semifinal opponent will be 23-time major champion Serena Williams or No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova.

The Frenchman turned to Mauresmo late previous year.

But first he must find a way to get past No 8 seed Nishikori.

That will be followed by Williams' matchup against No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.

"It's sort of like the over/under - is he even going to finish the match?"


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