Almagro beats Nishikori in Japan Open quarterfinals

Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:26 AM
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TOKYO, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Nicolas Almagro defeated defending champion Kei Nishikori in three sets Friday in the quarterfinals of the ATP's Rakuten Japan Open.

Almagro, the No. 6 seed, took out the fourth-seeded Nishikori 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-3. He was able to finish off five of his six break opportunities, including both chances he had in the third set.

Nishikori had a pair of breaks in each the first and second sets but Almagro lost only five points over four service games in the third set to gain a spot in the semifinals.

Almagro will next play No. 1-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who came away a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Del Potro had his serve broken three times in losing the first set before winning nearly two-thirds of the points on serve the rest of the way.

Del Potro, who also came from behind to beat Dolgopolov earlier this year, is 5-0 in his career versus the Ukrainian.

Third-seeded Milos Raonic, who lost to Nishikori in last year's Japan Open final, defeated Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-3 in 62 minutes, losing 10 points in nine games serving. Ivan Dodig got past Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the fourth quarterfinal.

Saturday's semifinals will mark the first career meeting between del Potro and Almagro. Dodig won both times he played Raonic.

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