Saturday, 10 October 2015  -  26 Dhul-Hijjah 1436 H
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Nishikori dumps Cilic

Japan’s Kei Nishikori reacts during his match against Marin Cilic of Croatia at the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo Friday. — Reuters



TOKYO — Defending champion Kei Nishikori beat Marin Cilic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Japan Open.

The second-seeded Nishikori overcame 23 aces by the hard-hitting Cilic to set up a match against Benoit Paire, who beat Nick Kyrgios 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Nishikori saved one break point in the first game of the third set. Despite receiving treatment on his right shoulder after the third game, he immediately broke Cilic and went on to record his 51st match win of the year.

Friday’s contest was a rematch of the 2014 US Open final won by Cilic. Nishikori is seeking his third Japan Open title.

In other matches, French Open champion Stan Wawrinka overpowered Austin Krajicek 6-3, 6-4.

The top-seeded Wawrinka saved every break point he faced to dispatch the American qualifier in just 59 minutes.

The Swiss player, who has won three titles this year, will face Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in Saturday’s semifinals. Muller beat Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 6-4.

Wawrinka has beaten Muller twice this year, in Chennai and Rotterdam.

Djoko blows away Isner

Novak Djokovic’s China Open charge showed no sign of slowing as he destroyed towering American No. 1 John Isner 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals in a lightning 52 minutes Friday.

The top-ranked Serb brushed off the 6ft 10ins (2.08m) Isner to clock up his 27th straight victory at a tournament where he has never been beaten and has now won 23 sets in a row.

Djokovic finished off Isner with a service winner on his first match point to move past Jimmy Connors and into sole second place for best unbeaten starts at a tournament, behind Nadal’s 31 at the French Open.

Next up for the is Spain’s David Ferrer, who beat Taiwanese wildcard Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 6-1.

Earlier, life was a little trickier for Rafael Nadal as he was forced to come from a set down against America’s Jack Sock (3-6, 6-4, 6-3) before setting up a chance for revenge in the semifinals against Fabio Fognini. Fognini beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

In the women’s draw, Ana Ivanovic beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-5 to set up a semifinal with Timea Bacsinszky, who recovered to beat Sara Errani 0-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Agnieszka Radwanska beat Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 to go into a semifinal clash with the in-form Garbine Muguruza, who halted the run of American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1, 7-5. — Agencies

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