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.
“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