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Nishikori Sets Cilic Clash; Matosevic Run Continues; Hutchins Returns

Brisbane, Australia

Matosevic© AFP/Getty ImagesMarinko Matosevic won his second main draw singles match on Australian soil on Wednesday.

Second seed Kei Nishikori made a smooth start to his Brisbane International campaign on Wednesday, dismissing Australian Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

The Japanese player needed just 62 minutes to advance, breaking serve three times and winning 77 per cent of his service points. “I had a good preparation,” said Nishikori. “I was working with Michael [Chang] for two weeks in California. I went back to the IMG Academy in Florida for another two weeks. I had a good preparation and good training. I was playing a lot, so I'm very confident to come here.”

Nishikori goes on to challenge World No. 37 Marin Cilic, who upset fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-5. The Croatian served 16 aces - twice that of his Bulgarian opponent - to advance in one hour and 36 minutes. 

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In the first match of the day, Australia's Marinko Matosevic capitalised on a home court advantage, ousting American Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4 in a second-round battle that lasted two hours and 19 minutes. Matosevic faces the winner of Roger Federer vs. Jarkko Nieminen in the quarter-finals.

In doubles, second seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Daniel Nestor reached the quarter-finals after fending off Denis Istomin and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 7-6(4). Elsewhere, South African Kevin Anderson and Swede Robert Lindstedt failed to convert a first-set advantage into a win, falling 4-6, 7-6(2), 14-12 to third seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers.

Ross Hutchins made a welcome return to action in a narrow defeat. Reunited with Colin Fleming in their first match in 14 months, the British duo lost to Jeremy Chardy and Grigor Dimitrov 0-6, 6-4, 10-4. Hutchins missed the 2013 season as he battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He announced he was in remission in July. 

"I thought it felt good," said Hutchins. "Very enjoyable to get back with Colin again. I've missed it the last sort of 15 months. To be on court, putting the results aside, it was something that I've thought about a lot the last 12 months. I've obviously been very excited to play again since Colin said that we would be back together. I loved every second it."

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