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Nishikori ousts Dimitrov in Brisbane

By Opta
KeiNishikori - cropped

Brisbane, January 3: Kei Nishikori claimed a straight-sets victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals of the Brisbane International.

World number nine Nishikori was beaten by Dimitrov in the 2017 final in Brisbane and gained vengeance with a 7-5 7-5 triumph on Thursday.

The Japanese broke his opponent with a forehand down the line in game 11 of a tight first set, converting his third break point before serving out for the lead.

Dimitrov looked set to force a decider after surging into a 4-1 advantage in the second, but errors crept in and a long backhand was followed by two double faults and an overhit forehand at 5-5 as Nishikori came from behind to advance.

Awaiting him in the semi-finals is Jeremy Chardy. The Frenchman narrowly avoided an upset against qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama by coming out on top in a third-set tie-break for a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory.

In the day's other match, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked his place in an ATP Tour quarter-final for the first time since February 2018 by beating lucky loser Taro Daniel 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

The former world number five was scheduled to face Rafael Nadal until the 17-time grand slam champion withdrew from the tournament with a thigh injury.

Next up for Tsonga is seventh seed Alex de Minaur, who reached the final four in Brisbane last year.

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    Story first published: Thursday, January 3, 2019, 17:50 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 3, 2019
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