Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates after defeating Ivan Dodig of Croatia during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Rob Griffith
January 21, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori stayed on track for another strong Grand Slam performance when he beat Ivan Dodig 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (0) on Thursday in the second round of the Australian Open.

Dodig was serving for the fourth set at 5-4 when Nishikori broke the Croatian's serve, lashing a backhand past Dodig, who stood helpless at the net.

Nishikori wasted a match point in the 12th game before shutting out Dodig in the tiebreaker to clinch the match in 2 hours, 47 minutes, delighting the hundreds of Japanese fans in the crowd.

Nishikori lost in the final of the U.S. Open to Marin Cilic, who is not playing the Australian Open due to a right shoulder injury.

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