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Friday, February 3, 2023

Karen Khachanov makes 14-game winning streak by defeating Yoshihito Nishioka at Australian Open

FeaturedSports NewsKaren Khachanov makes 14-game winning streak by defeating Yoshihito Nishioka at Australian Open

A dominant Karen Khachanov won the first 14 games to reach her first Australian Open quarter-final on Sunday, beating outclassed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in straight sets.

The Russian 18th seed defeated his racket-smashing opponent 6-0, 6-0, 7-6 (7/4) at the John Cain Arena.

Nishioka, the 31st seed, was so out of sorts in the opening two sets that he won just 13 points.

In set two, he managed just two points in six games in an embarrassing collapse.

Khachanov appeared on track to become only the sixth player in Grand Slam history, and the first since 1993, to record a triple-double victory — 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 — before Nishioka eventually won the 15th game. Huge cheers from the crowd.

The victory took him into the last eight at a Grand Slam for the fifth time. His best result was reaching the semi-finals of last year’s US Open where he lost to Casper Road.

He will next face either American 29th seed Sebastian Korda or Polish 10th seed Hubert Harkaz.

“The first two sets, I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “You’re going with the score, let’s say, too easy. Then Yoshi turned it around, pumped up the crowd and I tried to stay focused from start to finish.

“It’s not easy to win with this score, three sets, but I’m playing well and I’m really happy to come through,” he added.

The Russian, a former world number eight, has won four career titles, all on hard courts, and was too good for Nishioka.

He broke the Japanese star immediately and then twice more as Nishioka struggled with his first serve and Khachanov hit the second.

Nishioka hit just three winners in the opening set, while committing 12 unforced errors in a 26-minute thrashing.

Things didn’t get any better for him in the next, with Khachanov breaking twice early to go 4-0 clear, with Nishioka repeatedly smashing his racket to the ground in frustration.

The Olympic silver medalist won the set in just 20 minutes, but with a rare triple bagel on the cards, Nishioka cruised to victory in set three.

He broke and then succumbed in a tense tiebreak before making it a match to the cheers of the crowd.

(Tags translated) Karen Khachanov(T) Karen Khachanov vs. Yoshihito Nishioka.

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