SPORTS

Nishikori reaches quarterfinals, Ferrer loses in Brisbane

  • In this Jan. 3, 2017, photo Australia's Destanee Aiava celebrates after winning her first round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament in Brisbane, Australia.  The 16-year-old Aiava advanced through qualifying before becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, beating veteran American Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Dave Hunt/AAP Image VIA AP) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA OUT, SOUTH PACIFIC OUT

    In this Jan. 3, 2017, photo Australia's Destanee Aiava celebrates after winning her first round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament in Brisbane, Australia. The 16-year-old Aiava advanced through qualifying before becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, beating veteran American Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Dave Hunt/AAP Image VIA AP) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA OUT, SOUTH PACIFIC OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Jan. 3, 2017, photo Australia's Destanee Aiava celebrates after winning her first round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament in Brisbane, Australia.  The 16-year-old Aiava advanced through qualifying before becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, beating veteran American Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Dave Hunt/AAP Image VIA AP) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA OUT, SOUTH PACIFIC OUT

    In this Jan. 3, 2017, photo Australia's Destanee Aiava celebrates after winning her first round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament in Brisbane, Australia. The 16-year-old Aiava advanced through qualifying before becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, beating veteran American Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Dave Hunt/AAP Image VIA AP) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA OUT, SOUTH PACIFIC OUT  (The Associated Press)

Kei Nishikori was rusty in his season-opening match against Jared Donaldson.

Still, Nishikori found enough to hold off the American qualifier 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday and reach the Brisbane International quarterfinals.

Eighth-seeded David Ferrer didn't make it that far, saving four match points on serve late in the third set before losing to Australian wild-card entry Jordan Thompson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Thompson, who won only three of his 13 matches in 2016, is already 2-0 this week and reached his first ATP Tour-level quarterfinal match. Next up is Nishikori.

The third-seeded Nishikori, a three-time semifinalist in Brisbane, had a first-round bye and started the second round by racing to a 4-0 lead. But Donaldson responded and won the next six games to take the opening set in less than an hour.

After jumping to a 3-0 lead in the second, Nishikori dropped another service game but this time used his experience in pressure situations to calmly regain control.

"I had a great start, and then I had one bad game after 4-0," Nishikori said. "I think it's a matter of my concentration ... a mental thing. After that he started playing much better ... and his forehand was on fire.

"It was really close. He had many chance to win a set and win the match, so, I mean, finally, in the last set I started playing like first couple of games and started dominating."

Sixth-seeded Lucas Pouille was trailing Kyle Edmund 6-3, 3-1 when he retired from their second-round match. Pouille had earlier had treatment for blisters on his feet after winning the first game of the second set.

A day after becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, Destanee Aiava lost to two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3 in the women's second round.

"It's pretty scary (but) I learned a lot out of that match," said the 16-year-old Aiava, adding that she had gained "confidence, maybe, in my game and myself, knowing that I do belong here."

Aiava will return to her hometown Melbourne, where she will play an exhibition tournament next week to continue preparations for her first Grand Slam event. She has a wild-card entry for the Australian Open, where she is set to be the first player born this millennium to play a Grand Slam main draw match.

Kuznetsova will play French Open champion and fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza in the quarterfinals.

Second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova rallied from a set and a break down to beat Zhang Shuai 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in her first competitive match since beating No. 1 Angelique Kerber to clinch the season-ending WTA Finals title. No. 8-seeded Roberta Vinci beat Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2 in another second-round match.