Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic both had to come from a set down to book their respective places in the Swiss Indoors Basel 2016 final, seeing off the challenges of Gilles Muller and Mischa Zverev.
No. 3 seed Nishikori needed a second-set tiebreak to force his way back level with Muller in his semi-final, while Cilic also relied on late brilliance to turn his clash around.
Here’s a look at the full results from an eventful day of action in Basel, before looking ahead to Sunday’s final:
|Swiss Indoors Basel 2016 Semi-Finals|
|Kei Nishikori vs. Gilles Muller||2-1 (4-6, 7-6, 6-3)|
|Mischa Zverev vs. Marin Cilic||1-2 (6-4, 5-7, 3-6)|
|ATP World Tour|
Nishikori came into Saturday’s semi-final having not dropped a set all tournament, and it looked for all the world as if he was to continue in that vain against Muller.
An early break put the Japanese star into a commanding lead, but two breaks in quick succession at the end of the opening set from Muller gave him a 6-4 triumph.
Nishikori was shell-shocked but managed to keep his composure in the second. And after saving two match points at 5-4 down, he took the game to a tiebreak.
In the second-set decider, however, the third seed’s dominance shone through, and he was able to secure a 7-3 victory.
Muller was visibly depleted after surrendering chances to make the final, and Nishikori took full advantage with a comfortable 6-3 win in the third set to win 2-1.
Following the match, the world No. 5 said he struggled against Muller’s big serve and had to pull something out of the bag when faced with match point, via ATP World Tour:
Gilles is a great server and I wasn't making many returns today. I made a lot of unforced errors to lose the first set.
I knew he was coming in [on match point]. I tried to play with confidence even on my second serve. My arm was shaking a little bit, but I managed to get through that tough moment.
Cilic’s semi-final also didn’t go with the script to begin with, as Zverev played some excellent tennis to win the opener 6-4.
Despite Cilic’s dominance on paper, the second set was equally tight, with neither player managing to wriggle two games clear.
It looked for all the world as if we were going to see another second-set tiebreak, but Cilic pulled it out of the bag right at the death to win 7-5.
Just like Nishikori, Cilic coasted to victory in the third set 6-3, and he'll now look to bring such form into the final.
The third seed takes on the fourth seed on Sunday, and the rankings tell you all you need to know about how close the match could be.
Nishikori is leading the head-to-head stats against Cilic, but the Croatian’s only Grand Slam title win came courtesy of a triumph over his Japanese counterpart.
He’ll look to draw on that win to get him over the line, but Nishikori is a fearsome competitor, and his form suggests Cilic is in for a long afternoon in Basel.