Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Nishikori upsets top-seed Thiem to reach Erste Bank Open semis

Nishikori upsets top-seed Thiem to reach Erste Bank Open semis

Nishikori, the fifth seed, cruised past the world No. 7 at Vienna's Stadthalle, winning 6-3, 6-1 to set up a semifinal with Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin on Saturday.

His victory is the latest in a dream year for South Africa's top-ranked singles tennis player after reaching his second career Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

Anderson, who has now won five ATP titles, said it had been his goal all year to qualify for the ATP Finals.

Nishikori leads the field with 60% of second-serve return points and 38% of return games won in the tournament before the match, and the semifinal confirmed the trend as Kukushkin won just 57% of second serve points.

Top seed Dominic Thiem's dream of a home win in the Vienna Open ended on Friday when he lost in the quarter-finals to Kei Nishikori.

"You've been a world-class player year in and year out so best of luck for the rest of the year", he said.

The German made in six wins from seven matches with a 7-5 6-3 defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut, and will now face Marius Copil after the Romanian defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6 (8-6) 7-5.

Kevin Anderson with his winning trophy at the ATP Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Each of the World No. 8's previous trophy wins - in Johannesburg, Delray Beach, Winston-Salem and NY - came at ATP World Tour 250-level events. I was up against an unbelievable opponent in Kei and I really had to play some fantastic tennis.

Anderson, after multiple errors on his backhand side when serving for the set, kept faith in the groundstroke and soon converted his third set point with another driven backhand to force an error from his opponent.

The 28-year-old Japanese is making a late charge to the eight-player ATP Finals, in what would be his first appearance in two years when it opens in London on November 11.

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