September 4, 2016 / 1:03 AM / in a year

Nishikori plays French bogeyman to reach U.S. Open last 16

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sixth seed Kei Nishikori continued to be a French bogeyman, beating a sluggish Nicolas Mahut 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 in the third round at the U.S. Open on Saturday.

Sep 3, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Kei Nishikori of Japan hits a forehand against Nicolas Mahut of France (not pictured) on day six of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With a 10-1 record against Frenchmen this season, Nishikori surely was pleased to see four players from France in his quarter of the draw, and he added the 34-year-old Mahut’s scalp to his growing collection.

While Nishikori, who reached the U.S. Open final in 2014, will not be happy dropping the first set, the 26-year-old Japanese will be upbeat about the finish after surrendering just five games in the next three sets.

Nishikori has now reached at least the fourth round in all four grand slams this season.

Next up is the winner between big-hitting Croatian Ivo Karlovic and American qualifier Jared Donaldson.

Editing by Andrew Both

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