Feliciano Lopez will play in Memphis 2013 final after winning in three sets. He is now facing Kei Nishikori who progressed due to his rival’s injury, playing only one set.
In the clash of two unseeded players it was the experienced Spaniard Lopez who started better, breaking Uzbek Denis Istomin in the third game. It was not long before he achieved a two break cushion and get into a position to serve for the opener. He had a triple set ball at his disposal at 5-1 and he took advantage of the third one.
The tables have turned in the set number two – the 63th-ranked Uzbek obtained a one break lead by lead by 4-1, averted one re-break threat, and finally succeeded to level the terms, making it one set between the players. World no. 47 Lopez was almost stunned again in the beginning of the deciding set, yet he battled back from a 0-40 deficit in the first game. He got more composed later on and achieved a crucial break to go 4-2 up. He then squandered a couple of match balls at 5-3 before a glimpse of hope emerged for Istomin who created a re-break ball. However, Lopez took over the reins again and ultimately converted his fourth match point to take this one with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory. He will be chasing his third ATP title in the Memphis final, the first one after 2010.
In the other semifinal match at U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championship fifth-seeded Nishikori seized the opener after restoring his one break advantage by 4-3. He thus served out the first set with a hold to love, yet the second one never started as his Australian opponent Marinko Matosevic forfeited the encounter due to a bone bruise on the bottom of his right foot. Nishikori progressed with 6-4, ret. and is counting on lifting his third ATP trophy as well.