Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Nishikori, Raonic to meet in final of Japan Open

AFP, TOKYO

Third seed Milos Raonic and US Open finalist Kei Nishikori are due to meet in a Japan Open final for the second time in three years today.

Canadian Raonic, seeded third, dominated Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to reach his third consecutive final in the capital. Nishikori mounted a comeback as he overhauled Germany’s Benjamin Becker 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/2).

The 24-year-old was treated for lower back pain during his quarter-final on Friday, but has soldiered on, to the delight of daily sellout crowds at the 10,000 capacity Ariake Colosseum.

Nishikori powered back after losing the first set against Becker, sweeping the second to love and winning a tiebreaker to prevail after losing a 3-1 break in the final set.

Raonic and Nishikori are both contenders in the battle to secure places for next month’s eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London, with Nishikori standing provisional sixth and Raonic on eighth.

The Canadian lost to Nishikori in Tokyo two years ago and was beaten a year ago for the title by Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. Raonic finished off Simon with 11 aces to bring his total for the season past 900.

“I believe it’s the best I have played all week,” Raonic said. “I executed well and I had a clear vision of what I need to do, so I was making the right shot-selections.”

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