GENEVA – Kei Nishikori survived three match points and produced a thrilling comeback to beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) to reach the semifinals of the Geveva Open on Thursday.
The world No. 9, recently hampered by a right wrist injury, made a great escape in the 10th game of the final set, when he was serving at 4-5 and 0-40.
He then rallied from 4-2 down in the final set tie-break and earned a match point at 6-5 with a backhand passing shot winner.
The big-serving Anderson, who racked up 14 aces during the match, canceled it out with a forehand winner, but Nishikori took the next point and the second seed hit another winner at 7-6 to wrap up the match in just under two-and-a-half hours.
“It would not have been much of a surprise if I had lost this match, but I played well on the crucial points,” said Nishikori.
“There haven’t been too many times that I’m down match point and win, so it’s great for me. He (Anderson) had more chances, but I served a little bit better in the end. It’s important to win some matches like this.”
Nishikori improved to 4-1 in his head-to-heads against Anderson. He will next face Germany’s world No. 33 Mischa Zverev, who defeated fifth-seeded American Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-5.
Top seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland also reached the last four by beating American Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Nishikori’s wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the recent Madrid Open and he was knocked out in the third round of last week’s Italian Open.
He made his entry for the Geneva Open at the last minute to get clay court action ahead of the French Open, the second major of the season.
Murray under the weather
World No. 1 Andy Murray is battling to recover from illness before the French Open begins on Sunday, according to British media reports.
Murray has had numerous setbacks in 2017, with the 30-year-old diagnosed with shingles in February before sustaining a elbow injury in March that ruled him out of the Miami Open and a Davis Cup tie.
Top-seeded Murray trained on Thursday, ahead of the main draw for the French Open later on Friday, and is also set to attend a pre-tournament news conference after the draw.
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