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Nishikori overcomes slow start to reach Rogers Cup final

Kyodo

Kei Nishikori dug deep to beat Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland on Saturday and advance to the Rogers Cup final.

The world No. 6 had his back against the wall in the first set but came through to win 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 in 89 minutes to move within one win of his first Masters title.

Nishikori will play world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. The Serbian defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils in Saturday’s other semifinal

Nishikori surrendered a break in the fourth game of the first set and found himself 5-2 down before storming back.

With Wawrinka serving for the first set at 5-3, the third-seeded Japanese broke back, drawing an error with a powerful return.

Nishikori reeled off four straight points from 6-4 down in the tie-break and powered through the second set to take the match.

“I think he (Wawrinka) started much better, in the first couple of games especially,” Nishikori told atpworldtour.com.

“He was hitting very good serves and was very aggressive until the 5-3 game. I started returning better and he was missing a little bit. I think he had more chances to get the first set.”

“After that, he started playing a little slower. I knew I had to step it up, otherwise he’s going to come back. I’m just happy to win today.”