Murray, Djokovic through to semis as Nadal loses to Nishikori
A round-up of the latest events at the Rogers Cup, also known as the Canadian Open, currently underway in Montreal.
Rafael Nadal vs. Kei Nishikori
Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals in the Rogers Cup.
Nishikori beat Nadal for the first time in eight meetings. He went four-for-four on break points while saving two of three break point chances against him. Serving on his second match point, he claimed his 46th win of 2015.
He won a career-best 54 matches and claimetd four titles in 2014 and is now tied with five other players with three ATP World Tour titles, trailing only Novak Djokovic (6) and Roger Federer (4).
Speaking about the match to ATP World Tour he said, “[Nadal] wasn’t making many first serves tonight, so I knew I had to be more aggressive on the second serve,” said Nishikori. “Everything was working well, so I am very happy to win today.
“I was close in Madrid, but today I was dominating everything,” said Nishikori. “I definitely needed to change some of my tactics when playing against Rafa. I had to play 100 per cent to beat him.”
Nadal, a three-time champion at the Rogers Cup (2005, 2008 and 2013), has gone without an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this far into a season for the first time in 10 years. He is also the only player to win at least one Masters 1000 event in 10 consecutive years (2005-14). Nishikori will face two-time Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray with a berth in the final on the line.
Murray downs Tsonga, moves to semis
With the win, second-seeded Murray booked his place at The O2 in London, qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the eighth straight year.
The Scot has a 4-1 edge over Nishikori in ATP tours, including a semi-final win during the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title win in Madrid earlier this year. The Japanese ace's lone victory came at the season finale in London last year.
"A lot of the crowd stayed and that really helped me get motivated," said Murray. "They created a good atmosphere out there and I appreciate everyone staying.
"I passed well. I came up with some good passing shots and that was the difference today."
Murray hit 24 winners, benefiting from 28 unforced errors by Tsonga. He claimed only two of four break opportunities, while surviving all three that he faced.
Djokovic v. Gulbis
Novak Djokovic saved two match points in a second-set tie-break before he dispatched Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup.
With this win, Djokovic extended his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 winning streak to 29 and has not lost since Roger Federer beat him in Shanghai last year. The Serb is bidding to win a record-equaling fifth Masters 1000 title of the season. With 24 titles at this level, Djokovic trails only Rafael Nadal who has 27 titles. Djokovic has won the last five ATP Masters 1000 events he has entered.
“You have to give credit to [Gulbis] for playing an excellent match,” said Djokovic during the on-court interview. “He was always making me play an extra shot, and putting a lot of pressure on my second serve. I had a lot of chances and closed it out in the end, but he had a couple of match points and it would’ve been deserved if he had won this match tonight.”
Djokovic next faces French player Jeremy Chardy, who earlier beat John Isner. Djokovic has a 9-0 head to head record against the Frenchman.
Novak Djokovic bt Ernest Gulbis: 5-7, 7-6, 6-1
Andy Murray bt Jo Wilfred Tsonga: 6-4, 6-4
Kei Nishikori bt Rafael Nadal: 6-2, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy bt John Isner: 6-7, 7-6, 7-6