Nishikori faces surprise finalist Andujar in Barcelona

Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:11pm EDT
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BARCELONA, April 25 (Reuters) - - Holder Kei Nishikori booked a place in the final of the Barcelona Open by sweeping past Slovak Martin Klizan 6-1 6-2 on Saturday.

The top-seeded Japanese next faces Pablo Andujar who scored a surprise 7-6 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard and number three seed David Ferrer.

Nishikori, ranked fifth in the world, was superior to Klizan throughout with his decision-making and execution.

"I am excited to be in the final again. Everything was perfect, the win and also the way I was playing," he told reporters.

"I tried to get a lot of spin on the clay but I also played some flat forehands and backhands so as to mix it up."

Nishikori is breaking new ground for Asian tennis. He is the highest-ranked Asian male in ATP Tour history and is the first to reach a grand slam final, at last year's U.S. Open.

He broke Klizan in his first two service games and while the Japanese began to relax toward the end of the first set he was still comfortably on top.

Klizan held on after a marathon first service game in the second set but Nishikori then eased his way to victory.

Ferrer had looked strong on the other side of the draw but an inspired Andujar hit a series of powerful groundstrokes after a slow start and volleyed well at the net.   Continued...

Kei Nishikori reaches for a forehand against John Isner (not pictured) in a men's singles quarter-final on day eleven of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Isner won 6-4, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports