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Tennis: Nishikori through to last 16 after Becker pulls out

Kei Nishikori became the first player through to the fourth round of the French Open without hitting a ball on Thursday when his third-round opponent Benjamin Becker withdrew injured.

PARIS: Kei Nishikori became the first player through to the fourth round of the French Open without hitting a ball on Thursday when his third-round opponent Benjamin Becker withdrew injured.

The Japanese fifth seed will now get an extended break as his clash with German Becker was scheduled for Friday, meaning he will not play again until Sunday.

The U.S. Open runner-up beat Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci on Wednesday and is yet to drop a set as he looks to better his previous run at Roland Garros when he also reached the last 16 in 2013 before losing to Rafa Nadal.

A medical bulletin said Becker had suffered a pectoral muscle injury during a five-set defeat of 32nd seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Julien Pretot)