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Nishikori falls in Wimbledon tuneup

Kyodo

Kei Nishikori had his confidence-boosting run before Wimbledon stopped Saturday by No. 3 seed Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals of the AEGON International.

The big-serving Serbian routed Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, converting three of his break chances and saving the only break point he faced in the match.

The 21-year-old Nishikori was looking to become the first Japanese man to reach the final of a grass-court tournament on the ATP Tour since Shuzo Matsuoka finished runnerup to Wayne Ferreira of South Africa at the 1992 Stella Artois Championships in London.

“It was like the wind was blowing straight through the court, and it was very hard for me,” Nishikori said. “But my opponent served well and limited his unforced errors in that strong wind. I didn’t play poorly. He was just phenomenal.”

Nishikori dropped to 0-4 against Tipsarevic this season. But his confidence has grown ahead of the Wimbledon Championships, which start Monday, having won three matches this week.

“I feel like I’ve begun to establish my game on grass. I’m looking forward to Wimbledon,” Nishikori said.