Kei Nishikori continued his fine run at the 2016 Swiss Indoors Basel tournament on Friday, beating Juan Martin del Potro in two sets, 7-5, 6-4. Swiss favourite and top seed Stanislas Wawrinka was shocked by Mischa Zverev, losing in three.
Nishikori finally grabbed his first-ever win over Del Potro thanks to his excellent defensive work and superb backhand. Gilles Muller joined him in the semi-finals by beating Federico Delbonis in three sets, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Here's a look at the results:
|Kei Nishikori (3)||7-5, 6-4||Juan Martin Del Potro (WC)|
|Gilles Muller||6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (3)||Federico Delbonis|
|Mischa Zverev||6-2, 5-7, 6-1||Stanislas Wawrinka (1)|
|Marin Cilic (4)||6-3, 6-3||Marcel Granollers|
To access the full schedule and draw, visit the event's official website.
Zverev entered the quarter-finals in the form of his life and continued his fantastic run in Basel, upsetting the top seed and tournament favourite Wawrinka.
The Swiss star was absolutely nowhere in the first set, and Zverev took full advantage, winning 14 of his 15 points at the net and taking advantage of Wawrinka's eight errors.
Things only got worse for the favourite in the second set, as shared by TennisTV:
Wawrinka used his experience to recover and eventually won the second set after a close finale, but he imploded in the decider, letting his emotions get the better of him after another early break. He even smashed up his racket at one point, but nothing worked.
Live Tennis described the scenes in Basel:
Zverev hung on for one of the biggest wins of his career, booking his spot in the semi-finals.
Nishikori entered the match with an 0-4 record against Del Potro, and from the opening exchange, the fans in Basel knew they were in for some high-level tennis. Here's a look at the point, via TennisTV:
The two were evenly matched early on, although Nishikori wasted a golden opportunity to take the advantage in the seventh game, missing several break chances. He started to take over in the rallies, however, and he closed the deal late, in part thanks to Del Potro's four double-faults.
Per Jose Morgado of Record, taking the set already presented a milestone for Nishikori:
Del Potro was visibly tired at the end of the first set, and he gave up another break early in the second to hand all momentum to his opponent.
The Argentinian kept on fighting, however, earning break chances in consecutive serve games for Nishikori. But twice the Japanese star kept his cool, and he eventually served out the match.
Muller and Delbonis served up a top clash in the first match of the day, with the former surviving a tiebreak to book his spot in the next round. Delbonis took a tiebreak in the opening set and seemed in control during the second, but his opponent fought back with some fantastic baseline tennis.
His serve was also clicking, per ATP Media Info:
After almost three hours of action, another tiebreak would decide the first semi-finalist, and it was Muller who used his serve to book his ticket, finishing things off with a superb volley.