Paire shocks Nishikori to secure final berth

Benoit Paire booked his place in the final of the Rakuten Japan Open after beating local favourite Kei Nishikori in the Satuday's semi-final in Tokyo.

Paire, who won his maiden ATP title in Bastad in July, triumphed 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 over the second seeded Nishikori and will now take on top seed Stan Wawrinka in Sunday's final.

Wawrinka booked his place in the final with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in the day's first last four match.

Saturday's loss denied Nishikori the opportunity to stake a claim for a berth in the ATP Tour Finals next month, after Rafael Nadal usurped the Japanese ace in sixth place on the world rankings with his run to the final of the Beijing Open.

Nishikori, who suffered a defeat to Paire in the first round at the US Open last month, raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set and went on to win after breaking Paire's serve, for a second time, in the sixth game.

The second set was a much more closely fought affair, although Nishikori missed a glorious opportunity to break serve with the score on 3-3 when the Frenchman saved five break points in what turned out to be a 20-point game.

Paire visibly grew in confidence and with the score at 5-4, his moment finally came.

Nishikori found himself two set points down when serving with the score on 15-40, and even though the former US Open finalist was able to bring the game back to deuce, a stunning Paire backhand on the next break point forced the match into a decider.

Winning the second set seemed to be something of a catalyst for Paire, and soon raced to a 3-0 lead in the third set.

Nishikori tried valiantly to get back into the match, but a couple of unforced errors with the match still in the balance meant the 2012 and 2014 winner in Tokyo was unable to successfully scramble back into contention.