Jeremy Chardy reached the second round of the Australian Open when Nicolas Almagro was forced to retire after just four games played. The Spaniard re-aggravated a calf strain he first picked up 10 days ago in Doha.
Chardy reaches second round after Almagro pulls plug four games into the match
In what was expected to be a very competitive, even match, was anything but as Chardy started out with a break, his forehand doing the damage from 30-30 to win the next two points and take the lead.
Despite two double faults, Chardy dug out a hold and consolidated his break for a 2-0 lead in a game that lasted 16 points, by far the longest of the match. He'd make it 3-0 and grab a double break advantage when Almagro misfired on a backhand.
It was at this point that the Spaniard began to feel physically unwell as his movement was noticably compromised. After a quick love hold by Chardy, Almagro, now down 4-0, served a double fault on the first point of his service game. It was at this point he sat down and called the trainer and after quick consultation, the Spaniard walked over to the Frenchman and shook hands, retiring after only 23 minutes of play.
Following the match, Chardy was happy to only have to play for a few minutes: "I'll take it, an easy match never hurts at a long tournament like this", the Frenchman said.
Chardy saved both of the break points he faced while winning both break chances on Almagro's serve while also winning 77% of his first serve points. He won 23 of the 35 points played while limiting Almagro to just two of nine second serve points won.
Nishikori next for Frenchman
Chardy's second round opponent will be fifth seed Kei Nishikori. The Japanese superstar has won four of the previous six meetings and has not lost to Chardy since 2013. Nishikori has won three of the prior four meetings on hard courts while four of his six wins have come in straight sets. The pair have split four career tiebreaks.