Andy Murray breezed through to the Australian Open quarter-finals after Mikhail Kukushkin retired through injury after 41 minutes. The Kazakhstan world number 92 was trailing 6-1 6-1 1-0 and heading for a thrashing.
Kukushkin entered the match on the back of two five-set matches in rounds two and three and these looked to have seriously taken the their toll on him, he eventually pulled out with a left hip flexor problem.
Murray had met Kukushkin just three weeks ago in his first match of 2012 and the Kazakhstan player had pushed the world number four to three sets and he showed in his last match against Monfils that he has the potential to beat the worlds best.
The fourth seed will next play Kei after he upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 5 sets. Nishikori is the first Japanese man to reach the Australian quarter-finals for 80 years and is also the lowest ranked player left in the 2012 draw, so Murray will enter as strong favourite to reach his 5th consecutive grand slam semi final.
After the match he spoke to the media,
It was hot on the court and it is good for me that I have conserved energy. I played Kukushkin a few weeks ago at Brisbane and it was three tough sets and I expected another tough one today. I hadn’t seen him play before Brisbane and he hit some huge shots early and made me work. It is tough for him for that to happen in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.