Nishikori, Goffin reach 4th round at Australian Open

David Goffin of Belgium falls to the court during his third round match against Dominic Thiemof Austria at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
AP

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Kei Nishikori had some trouble with his wrist, taking a medical timeout and losing the next set before recovering to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win Friday over No. 26-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Nishikori reached the 2014 U.S. Open final and the quarterfinals at the Australian and French Opens in 2015 before withdrawing from his second-round match at Wimbledon with an injured left leg.

Returning to the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the fourth straight year was a confidence booster, and he said the right wrist ''actually, it was OK.''

''In the first set I was sore but after treatment I felt better,'' he said. ''I tried to stay tough, concentrated again – I played better in last set.''

There was a full house on Margaret Court Arena for the match, including a big section of Japanese supporters waving flags, while matches on uncovered outside courts were delayed because of rain.

No. 15 David Goffin beat No. 19 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 – his first win against a top-20 player at a Grand Slam – to reach the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time.

He faces a tougher proposition next, against either Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov. Federer, who has won four titles in Australia among his 17 majors, enters the third-round contest with 299 wins in Grand Slam matches, aiming to be the first man to reach 300.

Belinda Bencic was the first player to reach the fourth round, winning the opening match on Rod Laver Arena 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 against Kateryna Bondarenko.

With the roof closed and play on outdoor courts delayed because of steady rain, the 12th-seeded Bencic overcame a slow start to dominate the final two sets of the 1 hour, 50-minute match.

Defending champions and top-ranked Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had matches scheduled for the same time later Friday. Williams was on Rod Laver Arena, the main court, against No. 69-ranked Daria Kasatkina, and Djokovic – who has won 34 of his last 35 matches at Melbourne Park, was on Margaret Court Arena against No. 28 Andreas Seppi.