Kei Nishikori advances to semifinals in Rotterdam


World No. 7 Kei Nishikori moved into the semifinals of the Rotterdam Open on Friday following a straight-sets victory over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

The top seed beat the 38th-ranked Fucsovics 6-3, 6-2 to book a semifinal meeting with former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland on Saturday.

Nishikori, who is competing at this ATP 500 tournament for the first time, fired three aces in winning 72 percent of his points on first serve. He converted five break points in his first contest against the 27-year-old Fucsovics.

After splitting the first three games, Nishikori, 29, snared the first break of the match to love. From there, he seized control and wrapped up the match in 1 hour, 18 minutes, claiming six straight games in the second set.

“I was able to play solid tennis and I did especially well in the second set,” Nishikori said. “I knew we will have long rallies so I wanted to take control.”

Nishikori, who is gunning for his second ATP title of the season, has beaten Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, four times in nine tries.

In their most recent encounter, at August’s Western and Southern Open, Wawrinka beat Nishikori in straight sets before losing to his countryman Roger Federer two rounds later, in the quarterfinals.

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