Kooyong, 14 January 2015 | AAP

Australian youngster Jordan Thompson has given defending champion Japan’s Kei Nishikori a scare in their Kooyong Classic clash.

The 20-year-old Sydneysider pushed the world No.5 to three sets before the defending champion held out for a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory on Wednesday.

Thompson, ranked world No.273, is the only local in the eight-man invitational field and will also play in next week’s Australian Open after winning the wildcard event.

US Open finalist Nishikori came into the round robin tournament in good form after making the semi-finals last week in Brisbane.

There are four matches scheduled for Wednesday after rain washed out the opening day of play.

France’s Gilles Simon takes on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov is up against Serbian youngster Filip Krajinovic and Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez face Frenchman Richard Gasquet.