Kei Nishikori is through to the final of the Miami Open presented by Itau. The Japanese, who had survived five match points in his quarter-final win, raised his level a day later to down No. 24 seed Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5.
“Serves, returns, everything worked well,” Nishikori said. “I tried to be aggressive and won a lot of points at the net as well.”
An efficient Nishikori only dropped serve once and broke Kyrgios four times in reaching his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final (2014 Madrid) in 84 minutes. The fleet-footed baseliner improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Kyrgios to 2-0 (2015 Shanghai). The big-hitting Aussie had not dropped a set en route to his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final.
“He’s just playing such good tennis,” Kyrgios said. “I know his game plan when he plays me, he plays so aggressively. He doesn’t let me dictate points. I was really looking for answers. I was trying to serve and volley a couple of times. But he’s playing great tennis.
“He puts so much behind the ball. He’s not just pushing it back. He can just hit a winner from anywhere. He moves really well and returns well. He’s too good.”
In the final, Nishikori will face top seed Novak Djokovic, who has won six of their eight tour-level meetings. The No. 6 seed has lost to the Serb in their past five matches, but did score an epic upset at the 2014 US Open, winning 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.
“I have nothing to lose in the final, so I hope to play another good match,” said Nishikori.