Australian Open: Djokovic through to semis as Nishikori retires

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for a seventh time. Reuters
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Melbourne: Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for a seventh time on Wednesday after eighth seed Kei Nishikori retired hurt when trailing 6-1, 4-1 in their quarterfinal.

Top seed and six-time champion Djokovic will meet Frenchman Lucas Pouille, a maiden Grand Slam semifinalist, on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.

Rafael Nadal and Greek wunderkind Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet in the other semifinal on Thursday.

Nishikori, who survived three five-set matches at the tournament, was clearly struggling after a handful of games in the evening match at Rod Laver Arena and had a medical time-out after losing the first set.

He grimaced as a trainer worked on his right thigh and pulled out of the match after Djokovic won the fifth game.

Tame end
The wear and tear of having played three five-set matches in the tournament took its toll on Kei Nishikori. Reuters

Although appearing untroubled by any injury niggles, Djokovic was grateful for the short match, having complained of a sore back and a "couple of issues" after battling through a taxing four-set clash with Russian Daniil Medvedev in the previous round.

"As they say this is exactly what the doctor ordered," he told Jim Courier in their on-court interview.

"I've had plenty of matches so far this year .. And I'll do everything to get ready for that (next) one."

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