Nishikori upsets Berdych, plays Baghdatis in Tokyo semis

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Marcos Baghdatis and Kei Nishikori set up a semifinal match at Japanese Open after seeing off Tursunov and Berdych in two sets.

Cypriot Baghdatis entered the quarterfinal match against another unseeded player Dmitry Tursunov of Russia on the back of defeating fourth-seeded Monaco previously. As it turned out, his great second round performance in Tokyo was no coincidence as he did not really let the Russian influence the proceedings. Tursunov forfeited his serve twice in the opening set and could only pose some threat in the last game of the set. However, it was too little too late as Baghdatis saved two break points and went a set up without delay. The Cypriot upgraded his one set lead with an early second-set break and defended the Russian’s only re-break attack at 4-3. There was no more time for Tursunov to recharge his weapons as Baghdatis threw him out of the tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 end score. Still, it is too early to predict whether Baghdatis could end up conquering his first ATP trophy of the year in Tokyo.

In any case, his semifinal adversary Kei Nishikori will be highly motivated to play a final in front of his home crowd, especially after overcoming second-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in today’s quarterfinals. Untypically, Berdych was facing 13 break points in two hours of tennis while only generating three himself. Furthermore, only 56% of his first serves were on target and he was not really efficient with those either as he did not win more than 64% of them. He was quite lucky to escape being broken in two of his first service games, but it was not long before eighth-seeded Nishikori acquired a 4-2 lead.  Berdych broke back soon, but the Japanese restored his one break advantage and served out the opener with a love game. Berdych consolidated his service game to some extent in the following set and even got a nose in front at 3-1. Nishikori bounced back immediately, pulling off a complete turnaround and generated a triple match point at 5-4. He did not waste any time and tucked away the first one to grab a deserved 7-5, 6-4 victory.

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