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Tennis: Nishikori rallies to reach Memphis semis


Defending champion Kei Nishikori of Japan advanced to the semi-finals of the $647,000 ATP US Indoor Championships by rallying Friday to defeat Russian Alex Bogomolov 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Nishikori, a 24-year-old world number 16 and a top seed for the first time in an ATP event, saved all four of the break points he faced in the final set to win after two hours and 18 minutes.

Nishikori next faces the winner of a later quarter-final between Australian third seed Lleyton Hewitt and American Michael Russell.

Taiwan fourth seed Lu Yen-Hsun and American Alex Kuznetsov were also to meet in a later quarter-final with that winner to face either American Jack Sock or Croatia's Ivo Karlovic in the last four.

Bogomolov, rated 80 spots below Nishikori and still seeking his first ATP title at age 30, broke Nishikori's first two service games for a 4-0 lead.

Nishikori broke back in the seventh game but Bogomolov held in the ninth to take the first set.

The second set featured two early exchanges of breaks before Nishikori held for a 4-3 edge, then broke the Russian and held again to force a third set.

Nishikori broke for a 2-1 edge and again to seize command before fighting off the Russian's final break chance in the last game.

Nishikori, who won two singles matches and shared a doubles triumph to spark Japan over Canada in Davis Cup play earlier this month, seeks his fourth career ATP crown.

His titles have come as a teen at Delray Beach in 2008, at Tokyo in 2012 and last year at Memphis when he dispatched Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the final.