Melbourne: Kei Nishikori recovered from a tough first-set tiebreaker to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in a first-round match on Monday at the Australian Open.
Leading 3-0 in the third set, Nishikori called out the ATP trainer, who worked on his left knee and quadriceps for a few minutes. It was the same knee which has bothered the Japanese star this month, forcing him to retire from his Brisbane International against Andy Murray and withdraw from an exhibition tournament.
In the fourth set, Nishikori broke Hanescu's service in the eighth game to go ahead 5-3, then held his serve to advance to the second round.
The 16th-seeded Nishikori next plays the winner of the match between Carlos Berlocq of Argentina and Belgian qualifier Maxime Authom.