Tokyo, Japan (Sports Network) - Top-seeded Andy Murray advanced to the
semifinals of the Japan Tennis Open on Friday, but Tomas Berdych and Janko
Tipsarevic -- the next two seeded players -- were not as fortunate.
Murray, the defending Tokyo champ, went the distance in his quarterfinal win
over Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, posting a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory, while
Japan's Kei Nishikori thrilled the home crowd with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the
second-seeded Berdych and Milos Raonic saved a match point in a 6-7 (5-7),
6-2, 7-6 (9-7) triumph over the third-seeded Tipsarevic.
For Murray, it was his 10th straight victory. He is playing for the first time
since capturing his first career Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open last month.
The Scottish star had a brilliant summer, winning the gold medal in front of
the British faithful at the London Olympics after a run to the final at
Next up for Murray will be the sixth-seeded Raonic. The two have already split
a pair of meetings this year.
Raonic won the first in a clay quarterfinal in Barcelona back in April before
Murray earned a straight-set win in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. They
were scheduled to play two other times, but Raonic was forced to pull out in
Miami and Murray withdrew in Toronto.
Nishikori, meanwhile, came up with one of his biggest wins of the year and has
reached his second straight semifinal. He was 0-6 in quarterfinals this year,
including a loss to Murray at the Australian Open, before finally winning a
round of eight match last week in Malaysia with a victory over Nikolay
Davydenko. Juan Monaco then beat Nishikori in the semis on his way to the
Kuala Lumpur title.
Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus will be Nishikori's semifinal foe this week. The
former Australian Open runner-up advanced Friday with a 6-2, 6-4 rout of
Russia's Dmitry Tursunov. Baghdatis has reached a semifinal for the first time
since February, when he lost to Lukas Lacko in Zagreb.
Baghdatis has won all three lifetime meetings with Nishikori, including a 6-3,
6-4 triumph in Brisbane to start the 2012 campaign.
The winner of this event will claim a first prize of $308,000.
The Sports Network