The Latest: Nishikori reaches 3rd round for 6th time
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia slips on the court during her second round match against Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The latest Wednesday from the Australian Open (all times local):
Kei Nishikori reached the third round of the Australian Open for the sixth consecutive year, beating Austin Krajicek 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.
Article continues below ...
The No. 7-seeded Nishikori, a two-time quarterfinalist here, dropped serve just once when he was serving for the second set but recovered to win a tight tiebreaker.
Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, is working with 1989 French Open winner Michael Chang as coach and says the extra attention to detail is good for his game.
''It's always great support from Michael. That's why I've been playing really well,'' Nishikori said. ''He's a very nice guy outside of the court – on the court he's very tough.''
Kateryna Bondarenko notched one of her biggest wins since coming out of retirement after having a baby in 2013, beating two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 7-5 in the second round at Melbourne Park.
The 92nd-ranked Bondarenko returned to the tour in 2014 and had failed to get through qualifying at four majors before making the main draw at last year's U.S. Open.
''I retired because I had a baby and I didn't really think to come back,'' the Ukrainian said after the match. ''Suddenly I missed tennis so much so I decide to come back and compete again.''
Bondarenko, who has a daughter, Karin, is one of three mothers in the Australian Open singles draw, along with Tatjana Maria of Germany and Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.
Kuznetsova, the 23rd seed, beat No. 2-ranked Simona Halep last week en route to winning the Sydney International title.
Venus Williams has been fined $5,000 by tournament organizers for skipping a news conference after her first-round exit at the Australian Open.
The Australian Open announced the fine Wednesday after a meeting by the committee of Grand Slam supervisors.
On Tuesday, No. 8-seeded Williams trudged off Rod Laver Arena after her surprising 6-4, 6-3 loss to Johanna Konta, a British player making her debut in the Grand Slam's main draw.
The $5,000 fine is the highest a female player has faced for skipping a mandatory news conference, and the second highest since Marat Safin was fined $10,000 at the 2001 French Open.
Maria Sharapova became the first player to advance to the third round at the Australian Open when she beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-2, 6-1.
Sharapova's match on Rod Laver Arena was one of only three that began on schedule – the other two were also in stadiums with covered roofs – after light rain delayed play for just over an hour on outside courts.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova's only stumbles came when she her had her service broken twice in the opening set, including when she held two set points while serving at 5-1.
Sharapova, who won the title here in 2008 and has reached three other finals, completed the win in 71 minutes and will next play either Lauren Davis of the U.S. or Magadalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.
Light rain is falling at Melbourne Park, delaying the start of play on side courts at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Tournament officials said play would not start on those courts until at least 11:30 a.m. Ball boys and girls were sponging the courts off.
Melbourne Park has three stadiums with retractable roofs – Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Hisense Arena. Play began as scheduled on those courts, including the opening match on Rod Laver between fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich.