Murray battles into Japan Open semis
- Published: 5/10/2012 at 04:49 PM
- Online news:
Defending champion Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Japan Open on Friday despite dropping his first set of the week as home favourite Kei Nishikori stunned second seed Tomas Berdych.
Defending champion Andy Murray lost a set for the first time this week before overcoming Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland to reach the semi-finals of the Japan Open. The top-seeded Briton won 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
The top-seeded Briton looked set for a straightforward victory after taking the first set but faced a battle after Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka levelled the match before eventually winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
The world number three, playing his first event since winning the US Open, converted four of his 11 break points and won 80 percent of his first serve points to seal his 50th victory of the year and his 10th straight win.
In Saturday's semi-finals, Murray, who also won the Olympic title this year, will play sixth seed Milos Raonic of Canada, who beat third seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
"I felt like I played very well. I didn't in a few games in the middle of the second set but for the most part I played a very good match," said Murray, 25.
"He's always a tough guy to play against. On all surfaces, he's got a very big game."
The Scot got off to an ideal start, breaking in the opening game of the match and repeating the feat later in the set but a single break in the second set was enough for the Swiss seventh seed as he levelled the match.
In the decider, two further breaks for Murray were enough for him to seal the match and a place in the last four.
Eighth seed Nishikori become the first Japanese player to reach the semi-finals of the Japan Open, beating Berdych 7-5, 6-4.
Nishikori, 22, created 13 break point opportunities against the big-serving Czech, breaking him four times and winning in just under two hours, improving to 3-1 against this year's US Open semi-finalist.
"I hit a lot of fast shots to his forehand. I also hit backhand shots down the line to his forehand. It worked very well," said Nishikori.
"Whenever I play him, I perform very well. I don't know why. I played my best. That's the key to the victory," he added.
Berdych said: "He hits so much from the power of his opponent, taking the ball so fast after a bounce. Probably my style of game is kind of the way he likes and that suits to his game."
On Saturday, Nishikori will play Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who beat Dmitry Tursunov of Russia 6-2, 6-4.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency