Tomic upsets Nishikori, sets up SF vs Raonic in Brisbane
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 08, 2016 04:11 PM
Bernard Tomic of Australia plays a shot in his quarterfinal game against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
AP Sports Writer
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Bernard Tomic ended Kei Nishikori's streak of semifinal appearances at the Brisbane International with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win on Friday, his first over a Top 10 player on home soil.
The victory over second-seeded Nishikori set him on course for semifinal against 2015 finalist Milos Raonic and a possible top 16 seeding for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 18 in Melbourne.
Fourth-seeded Raonic, who lost the Brisbane final last year to Roger Federer, relied on his big serve to dictate play in a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 78-ranked Lucas Pouille.
Tomic fired nine aces in the first set and broke in the eighth game, but Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, won five straight games in the second to level the match and maintain his hopes of reaching the Brisbane semifinals for the fourth straight year.
After an exchange of breaks early in the third set, Tomic clinched it on his first match point, avenging a loss to Nishikori here last year.
"That was very, very special to me," Tomic said. "Last year, unfortunately, I lost very comfortably to Kei, and today played very different."
Tomic, who hasn't been back to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since reaching the last eight at Wimbledon as an 18-year-old qualifier in 2011, had a career-high 40 match wins in 2015 and said he's starting to find the consistency needed to be competitive at the majors.
Federer will play Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals on Friday night. The winner of that match will play either third-seeded Marin Cilic or No. 8 Dominic Thiem.
On the women's side, fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber moved into the final with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and U.S. qualifier Samantha Crawford were playing the other semifinal in the night session.
At the Hopman Cup at Perth, Andy Murray and Heather Watson each had 6-3, 6-4 wins in singles matches over German opponents — Alexander Zverev and Sabine Lisicki —and combined to win the mixed doubles by the same margin to secure a 3-0 win that kept Britain in contention for Saturday's final.
The Australia Green team has won its opening two matches and can seal a spot in the final against Ukraine with a win over France later Friday.
Watson lost just four points on her serve in the first set and broke Lisicki three times.
"Today was, I am not going to say some of the best tennis I have played because the rallies were really short, but I feel like I have definitely got better," Watson said. "When I was warming up before the match I knew I was feeling great in all aspects of my game."
At Auckland, New Zealand, Julia Goerges reached her sixth WTA Tour final and her first in four years when she beat qualifier Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-2 in an ASB Classic semifinal between two players on the comeback trail.
Goerges, ranked 50th, last reached a final at Dubai in 2012 when her ranking peaked at No. 15.
Paszek was playing her seventh match at the tournament after winning her way through qualifying into the main draw.
The other semifinal between third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and fifth-seeded Sloane Stephens was delayed by rain.