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Nishikori to meet Lopez in Memphis final

Tennis

Tucson – Japan's Kei Nishikori will meet Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the final of the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships after besting Australian Marinko Matosevic in the semi-finals in Memphis on Saturday.

Nishikori won the first set 6-4 in 37 minutes against Matosevic before the Australian was forced to retire with a bone bruise on his right foot, sending the Japanese into his fifth ATP final.

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“He was playing well from the beginning. Its lucky for me to play just one set and feel fresh for tomorrow, fifth-seed Nishikori told reporters. “But I've played really well this week in every match and it's been good.”

Lopez found the going much tougher against Denis Istomin winning 6-2 3-6 6-3 to make his eighth tour final.

Lopez won the pair's only previous meeting in straight sets at the 2011 Barcelona Open.

“He is a great player, he's in very good shape,” Lopez said of Nishikori.

“I think it's going to be a tough match, he's very fast-moving all around the court and I have be aggressive and play my best tennis if I want to win.”

Meanwhile Marina Erakovic became the first New Zealander since Belinda Cordwell in 1989 to win a WTA title after German Sabine Lisicki retired in their final.

Erakovic raced to a 6-1 first set victory before the German succumbed to an undisclosed illness.

“This is my first title and unfortunately it did go like this,” Erakovic said.

“But Sabine congratulations. I hope we really do play a lot more finals in the future.” – Reuters

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