After a rather disappointing performance in the quarter finals of Doha (2-6 1-6 against Tomas Berdych), Richard scored a 7-6 3-6 6-2 victory against Feliciano Lopez in the first round of the Kooyong exhibition. Richard is scheduled to play Nishikori on Friday.
Richard went up 2-0 in the first set, but sloppy volleys cost him his advantage. The conditions were tough: very cold and windy. Richard was the better player from the baseline, but the serve kept the Spaniard in the match and the set went to a breaker. Richard came back twice after Lopez' minibreaks and took the set 8-6.
In the second set, one loose service game from Richard was enough for Lopez to seal the set 6-3. Richard fended off two breakpoints in the first game of the third set and never looked back. He broke Lopez twice for a 7-6 3-6 6-2 win.