Fifth seed Kei Nishikori made short work of France’s Jeremy Chardy to make the Australian Open third round.
The 27-year-old from Japan, who has reached the quarter-finals in the past two years, came through 6-3 6-4 6-3 in two hours six minutes.
Nishikori was taken to five sets by Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening match and is seeded to meet top seed Andy Murray in the last eight.
“I played much better than I did in the first round,” said. Nishikori.
Nishikori saved six of nine break points faced and made Chardy work all match long on his serve.
The fifth-seeded Nishikori converted seven of 18 break points against the 29-year-old Chardy, who was trying to reach the third round in Melbourne for the third time.
Nishikori moves through to the third round for the seventh consecutive year. But the 27-year-old Shimane native has bigger targets in mind for this Melbourne visit.
Nishikori will try to improve on his best showing at the Australian Open, the quarter-finals in 2012, 2015, 2016. He’ll next face Israel’s Dudi Sela or Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko next.