Nishikori pow­ers through to Bris­bane fi­nal

Sunday Observer - - SPORT - AFP

BRIS­BANE - Ja­panese star Kei Nishikori was in su­perb form as he de­mol­ished Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in the semi­fi­nals of the Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional yes­ter­day.

The 29-year-old gave his French op­po­nent no chance as he put on a com­mand­ing all court dis­play to ad­vance to the fi­nal for the sec­ond time in three years.

Af­ter his im­pres­sive straight sets quar­ter­fi­nal win over Grigor Dim­itrov, Nishikori said he had set his sights on re­turn­ing to the world's top five af­ter fall­ing to 39 last April due to a wrist in­jury at the end of 2017 that re­quired time away from the tour.

And he showed all the qual­i­ties of a top five player in his 66-minute de­mo­li­tion at the Pat Rafter Arena.

He only served two aces com­pared with the 11 sent down by Chardy, but Nishikori re­turned su­perbly and pres­sured the French­man's serve through­out, break­ing him twice in each set.

Nishikori also moved around the court well, his speed not no­tice­ably af­fected by the in­juries that ham­pered him last year. "Ev­ery­thing was work­ing well to­day," Nishikori said.

"I felt like I was too fast on the court to­day – I felt very good. "Phys­i­cally and ten­nis­wise I think it was per­fect. I s e r ved well , I re­turned well – I think that was the key to­day – and I was mov­ing well, that was fan­tas­tic." Nishikori was run­nerup to Dim­itrov in 2017 and will go into to­day's fi­nal against ei­ther fourth seeded Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev or French­man Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga as firm favourite.

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