Nishikori battles past Monfils to reach semis

Kei Nishikori booked his spot in the semi-finals of the Miami Open after coming from behind to beat Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Thursday. 

By doing so the Japanese ace secured a spot in just his second semi-final of the year, having also featured in the final four at the Memphis Open in February where he won his fourth consecutive title. 

Monfils broke Nishikori first up en route to taking a 2-0 lead, but Nishikori brought himself level at 2-2 by breaking the Frenchman in the fourth game. 

However, Monfils broke back in the next game and never looked back as he went on to clinch the first set. 

Nishikori looked more in control in the second set as he raced out to a 3-1 lead, and advantage he would not surrender.

However, despite finding himself 3-1 up in the third set, Nishikori could not press home his advantage as the 29-year-old fought back and broke Nishikori to make it 4-4. A tie-break was needed to determine a winner and it was Nishikori who emerged victorious. 

Nishikori will face Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals after the Australian downed Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (4). 

Kyrgios broke Raonic just once during their match, but he managed to come out on top after he saved all five break points Raonic created.

The 20-year-old is now the first Australian to reach the semi-finals of the Miami Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. He will also break into the top 20 on the ATP rankings for the first time next Monday and became the youngest player to achieve the feat since Marin Cilic accomplished it in September 2009. 

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