Nishikori Kei advances to the Japan Open Finals

Kei Nishikori is definitely one of the best dark horses of this generation.

Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates his win against world number 6 Thomas Berdych in the 2012 Rakuten Open quarterfinals.

In yesterday’s quarter-final match, world number 17 Kei Nishikori of Japan faced Czech’s number one Thomas Berdych, who is also ranked number 6 in the ATP rankings, and won with a score of 7-5, 6-4. The match lasted for about 2 hours, and it’s the first time a Japanese tennis player advanced into the best 4 in the tournament since 1973.

Nishikori stated in a press conference that he felt the ball well and was able to make Berdych run from side to side. He also said he was happy with the win and even happier with how he played.

He also thanked his fans for cheering for him on Facebook; both in English and Japanese.

Kei Nishikori vs Thomas Berdych 2012 Japan Open Quarterfinals Highlights

( No sound until 7:26. :[ )

My favorite points of this match are (in the YouTube video):

  • 3:10 – What a clean winner from Nishikori. Love it.
  • 3:58 – The shot Nishikori hits at 4:05 just curves into the court and breaks Berdych’s balance. Nishikori then hits the ball to the open space and finishes the point with a winner.
  • 6:51 – It shows how Nishikori returned Berdych’s serve quite well despite the big serves that he hits.
  • 7:48 – Amazing passing shot. Even included in the Hot Shot of the day on the ATP World Tour YouTube account.
  • 13:16 – What a rally. Balls are being hit hard. The sound of the impact vibrates throughout the stadium, and Nishikori ends it with a winner. Priceless.

And now today, Kei Nishikori defeated Marcos Baghdatis in the semifinals with a score of 6-2, 6-2. Nishikori is playing well this tournament, and he may win if things go his way.

Kei Nishikori will be facing Milos Raonic of Canada in the finals, and it will be the first time the two players will face each other. Milos Raonic defeated Andy Murray in the Rakuten Open quarterfinals with a score of 6-3, 6-7(5), and 7-6(4), despite the fact that Murray had 2 match points.

Who do you think will win the finals? Nishikori or Raonic?

I honestly can’t say neither, so I’m going with Nishikori because I believe in him. Not a good reason, but why the heck not.

Leave me a comment below on what you think of Nishikori’s win or Raonic vs Nishikori predictions, and I will respond to your comment ASAP. 🙂