Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Nishikori crushes French challenger to reach final

Nishikori crushes French challenger to reach final

The second set was a different affair as Nishikori broke Gasquet at will to seal the match as he bids for a third title in Tokyo after previous wins in 2012 and 2014.

"I know what I have to do to beat him, but I also know it will be tough". I'm very happy with the way I played."There was plenty on the line for Anderson, who began the week in eighth in the ATP Race To London, as the South African is trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time".

Once Nishikori, a former US Open runner-up who reached the NY semi-finals last month, bagged an early break in the second set, French resistance faded and he put Gasquet out of his misery with a sizzling backhand down the line. "Of course I'm playing well, I'm serving well".

"I tried to raise my level in the tie-break and be more aggressive, focused and then I played the best tie-break I have played for a couple of months".

"I'm feeling 100 percent", added Nishikori.

"This gave me good confidence".

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The 2012 and 2014 Japan Open victor will have to get past Richard Gasquet to advance to the final for a third time after the Frenchman upset second seed Kevin Anderson 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4) in the late match. 20-year-old Ziziphus once took the opponent's serve, made four ACE and five double faults.

Nishikori will meet Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final after the 32nd-ranked Russian earlier defeated 31st-ranked Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The world number 32, who has beaten Diego Schwartzmann and Milos Raonic already this week, wrapped up the victory with back-to-back aces in a time of 63 minutes to reach his third ATP final of the year. "Sometimes it just happens", Gasquet said of his tie-break prowess so far this tournament.

"But I managed to play good and hold my serve and I'm in the final", he said.

Anderson has failed to make the semifinals at his last three events.

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