French Open: Kei Nishikori survives injury scare in win over Jeremy Chardy

Court 1 saw Kei Nishikori get passed Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-0, 7-6(5) to progress into the third round at Roland Garros

Nishikori recovers from an early break to win the first set

The Frenchman made an encouraging start to the match. He forced a few errors from Nishikori then up 15-40, he placed a backhand return winner on the line for a double break point. An unforced error allowed Chardy to break first in the match, which delighted the partisan crowd.

However, a double-fault gifted the Japanese a way back with two break back points offered. An unforced error gave Nishikori the break back with the score all square at 1-1. Nishikori did consolidate to take an early 2-1 lead. Both players then began to look relatively comfortable on serve for the next four games with Nishikori's serve doing most of the damage.

Kei Nishikri gearing up to hit a forehand shot (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Kei Nishikri gearing up to hit a forehand shot (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Leading 4-3, the eighth seed sent the game to deuce before picking up a break point opportunity. The 30-year-old failed to deny Nishikori, who broke with the chance to seal the opening set. 

Serving for the set, the 26-year-old ran away with the game picking up four break point opportunities. The Frenchman could only save one set point with Nishikori going on to take his second and go up a set, 6-3.

Nishikori bagels Chardy

Unlike the first, Nishikori began the second positively. The Japanese took Chardy to deuce before attacking right from the off, making him run around then coming to the net and finishing off the point with a volley. The Frenchman's serve went awol with a double-fault creeping into his game as the world number nine got the breakthrough at the start of the set. 

A hold to love made it a perfect start for the Japanese who made it 2-0. The local Frenchman continued to struggle to keep up with Nishikori, spraying errors left, right and center with further three break points heading the way of the Japanese.

Kei Nishikori returning a shot (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Kei Nishikori returning a shot (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Chardy could only saw the one break point with Nishikori dominating the rally, opening up the court and smashing a volley winner. Things got even better as he held serve for a double break lead, 4-0. Leading 30-40, Chardy missed the chance to get on the scoreboard shanking a forehand which allowed his opponent a chance into the match, which he took. 

Nishikori opened up the court sending Chardy out wide as he played the shot in the open court to bring up a break point. The Japanese sealed the game with a dropshot for 5-0. Serving for the whitewash, Nishikori went love-40 up, forced the error and clinched the set, 6-0. 

Chardy shows fight; loses set via tiebreaker

Nishikori continued the third set in the same vein as the previous, breaking Chardy in the opening game on his second break point chance. The Japanese consolidated but was clutching and shaking his shoulder. Nonetheless, the 26-year-old continued his ruthlessness to break for the second time in three games, going on to win nine consecutive games on the spin. During the change of ends, Nishikori called the trainer and took a medical time out for his shoulder. 

After the medical timeout, Nishikori began to struggle on serve which gave the Frenchman encouragement and two break back point, 15-40 with a strong powerful serve. For the first time in the match, Chardy broke then held serve to turn around the match and wrestle the momentum from the Japanese, who was clearly suffering. 

Kei Nishikori in action at the French Open (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Kei Nishikori in action at the French Open (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

With the crowd now turning up the volume, Chardy upped his levels even more, firing a forehand return to bring up further two break points. The 26-year-old bravely fought back to deny the Frenchman and hold serve to keep his lead intact, 4-2. Just the two games later, the eighth seed felt the full force from the world number 74, who took control to bring up three break points. 

Nishikori dug in, saved three break points and sent the game to deuce. Chardy would have one more break point saved before breaking to level. From then on in, the set went to the tiebreaker. The Japanese won the breaker 7-5 to put the match to bed.