Anderson And Nishikori Reach Vienna Title Match

Kevin Anderson (photo: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Christian Hofer).

VIENNA, October 27, 2018

No. 2 seed Kevin Anderson and No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori have boosted their chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals by winning their semi-final matches at the Erste Bank Open 500 on Saturday.

Anderson, who benefited from a second-round walkover against wild card Jürgen Melzer and a quarterfinal retirement from No. 6 seed Borna Coric, fought past Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. The World No. 8 and two-time Grand Slam finalist from South Africa fired 19 aces, winning 77 per cent of his first service points to prevail after two hours and 26 minutes.

Earlier in the day, Nishikori defeated qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3. The 28-year-old from Japan saved both break points he faced, converting two of his own five chances to advance in one hour and 29 minutes.

“It was quite tough because he played really good defence,” said Nishikori. “It wasn’t easy to finish the points against Mikhail today.”

Nishikori’s title drought on the ATP World Tour spans eight losses in finals, more than two years and 48 tournament appearances. Anderson will also be hungry for a title with only four ATP World Tour 250 championships to his name. He would qualify by capturing the Vienna title.

The pair will meet for the seventh time. Nishikori owns a 4-2 head-to-head reccord and would inch within 125 points of the ATP Race to London cutoff if he wins his first title since 2016 Memphis on Sunday.