Tennis

Published: Sunday April 27, 2014 MYT 1:12:00 AM
Updated: Sunday April 27, 2014 MYT 3:27:07 PM

Nishikori to meet Giraldo in Barcelona final

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to reach the final of the Barcelona Open when he beat Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-2 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday. - EPA

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to reach the final of the Barcelona Open when he beat Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-2 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday. - EPA

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Fourth seed Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to reach the final of the Barcelona Open when he out-hit Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-2 6-4 on Saturday.

Nicolas Almagro failed to reproduce the form that helped him end Rafa Nadal's 41-match, 11-year unbeaten run at the tournament as the Spaniard lost his semi-final 7-5 6-3 to unseeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo.

Nishikori will now fancy his chances of landing a first claycourt trophy in Sunday's final with Giraldo who has yet to win a title on the ATP Tour.

"I am very happy with the way I am playing and especially with my service and forehand," said the Japanese who is making his comeback after being sidelined for a month with a groin injury.

"This is a tough tournament with so many top Spanish players involved but now I am in the final and it is in my hands," he told reporters.

Nishikori's consistency from the back of the court was too much for Gulbis to handle.

The 24-year-old was quick around the court as he broke twice to take the first set.

Gulbis offered more resistance in the second set but Nishikori broke to go 5-4 ahead before clinching victory on his own serve.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

advertisement

  1. Third day charm as Hafifi lifts Malaysia's first gold medal
  2. Three is just too many for Pandelela in Glasgow

advertisement

advertisement