Wimbledon 2016: Nishikori battles past Benneteau to advance through to the third round

The number five seed had to battle back from one set down against Benneteau to advance through to the third round

Wimbledon 2016: Nishikori battles past Benneteau to advance through to the third round
Nishikori  advances through to the third round at Wimbledon (Picture source: Getty Images)

Kei Nishikori came through a very difficult encounter in the second round at Wimbledon against Julien Benneteau, winning in four sets.

The number five seed didn't get off to the best of starts, losing the opening set before battling back to win the next three sets to show his qualities on court.

Nishikori, in the end, won the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 and will play Andrey Kuznetsov in the third round.

Benneteau starts strong to take the first set

The first set began with Benneteau holding his serve in the opening game after being 0-30 down. The Frenchman got himself out of trouble though with some very good serves that Nishikori couldn't return. 

Nishikori responded well after that holding his serve when Benneteau pushed hard to take the game to deuce, but the fifth seed managed to serve his way out of trouble to get onto the board. 

Both players then settled into a nice rhythm as they held serve until Benneteau got the crucial break in the tenth game to win the first set 6-4.

It meant that if Nishikori was going to win the match he was going to have to come from behind against Benneteau who was looking very assured out on centre court. 

Nishikori fights back

Benneteau backed up winning the first set by holding his serve quite comfortably at the beginning of the second set to take a 1-0 lead.

Nishikori followed suit by holding his serve well next game as he looked to up his level to get a breakthrough in this second set.

Both players continued to hold serve until the seventh game when Nishikori, at the third attempt of asking, broke Benneteau for the first time in the match to take a 4-3 lead.

Nishikori had to show real steel to get back into the match | Photo: Getty
Nishikori had to show real steel to get back into the match | Photo: Getty

Nishikori backed up his break by holding serve for a 5-3 lead in the set and gave Benneteau the task of serving to keep the set alive.

Benneteau did this successfully meaning Nishikori would serve for the set and the Japanese star did this brilliantly to win the second set 6-4 to make it one set all.

Nishikori powers on to go to 2-1 ahead 

Benneteau didn't let the disappointment of losing the second set stop him holding his serve at the beginning of the third set. Nishikori though now full of confidence held his own serve to level up the set at 1-1.

Both players held their next service games perfectly but in the fifth game of the set, Nishikori got the breakthrough by getting a crucial break on Benneteau's serve to go 3-2 up.

Nishikori backed up the break with a solid hold on his own serve before breaking Benneteau's serve once again to go within one game of winning the third set.

The problem though was that he was unable to serve out the set as Benneteau got one of the breaks back before Benneteau held his own serve in the next game to make sure that Nishikori was to serve out the set on his own serve.

At the second time of asking though Nishikori held his serve to win the third set 6-4 and go within one set of the third round.

Benneteau tires and Nishikori strolls the victory

Nishikori looking to wrap up the match in the fourth set, got off to the perfect start when he broke Benneteau's serve in the first game.

The Japanese star then held his serve in the next game to put all the pressure on Benneteau.

Benneteau and Nishikori both held their next service games before Nishikori broke for a second time in the set to go 4-1 in front.

Nishikori then held his serve in the next game before Benneteau done the same to make sure that Nishikori had to serve for the match.

Nishikori did this at the first time of asking as Benneteau could hardly move and the Japan star won the fourth set 6-2 and the match three sets to one.