MONTREAL – A day after one of the best matches of his career, Kei Nishikori looked lead-footed in a straight-sets semifinal defeat to third-ranked Briton Andy Murray at the Rogers Cup on Saturday.
“I think I’m more tired,” Nishikori said after dropping his first sets of the tournament in a 6-3, 6-0 drubbing. “Everything was sore these couple of days. Today it got a little bit worse so I couldn’t really move 100 percent.
“Especially after the first set, I was feeling it more and more. At the beginning of the first set I was OK, but after that I wasn’t the same player.”
Murray, the second seed, earned the first break of the match to go up 4-2, but Nishikori, who hadn’t been able to pressure the Scot’s serve, broke back in the next game. The fourth-ranked, fourth-seeded Nishikori, however, was unable to hold serve, allowing Murray to take a 5-3 lead and hold his serve for the set.
Murray, who will face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final, rolled through the second set with Nishikori looking virtually immobile on the court. The win improved the Scot’s record against Nishikori to 5-1. Murray also knocked Nishikori out of this year’s Madrid Masters semifinal in straight sets.
The match came a day after Nishikori put on a master class in his first career win over former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal to reach the semifinals.
Djokovic advanced to the final with a 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy.