Djokovic uses Nishikori as warm-up for Federer clash

Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:18am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Champion Novak Djokovic did not bother with a practice hit before his showdown with Kei Nishikori and his "less is more" approach paid off with an easy 6-3 6-2 6-4 win on Tuesday to set up a blockbuster Australian Open semi-final with Roger Federer.

The Serb entered the quarter-final against the Japanese in the wake of a five-set marathon with the indefatigable Gilles Simon, a match he was desperate to forget after racking up exactly 100 unforced errors.

Instead of heading to the practice courts to re-tune his game, the world number one put his feet up to clear his mind.

"I didn't hit a tennis ball," he said in a courtside interview after mowing down seventh seed Nishikori in just over two hours under the floodlights at Rod Laver Arena.

"And it happens sometimes it's actually good to rest your mind and rest your body. Less is more sometimes.

"I think it's more (about hitting) a reset button because I think I've played a lot of tennis in the last four or five weeks."

The Djokovic that faced Nishikori, the winner of their only previous grand slam encounter in the 2014 U.S. Open semi-finals, was not far from the imperious best of the man that clinched three of the four majors last year.

But he landed only 57 percent of his first serves and was broken twice in the third set as Nishikori finally began to loosen his shoulders and start swinging.   Continued...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a shot during his quarter-final match against Japan's Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jason O'Brien Action Images via Reuters