Match report

Marcos Baghdatis ©
Kuala Lumpur
Quarter final
9/30/11 1 2 Tot
cy  Marcos Baghdatis 6 7 2
at  Jurgen Melzer 3 6 0
Jurgen Melzer ©
Nicolas Almagro ©
Kuala Lumpur
Quarter final
9/30/11 1 2 3 Tot
es  Nicolas Almagro 7 4 4 1
jp  Kei Nishikori 6 6 6 2
Kei Nishikori ©
  • Baghdatis ousts Melzer, Nishikori takes down Almagro

    9/30/11 5:09 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Marcos Baghdatis sees off Jurgen Melzer in straight sets on Friday in Kuala Lumpur. Baghdatis is joined in the semifinals by Kei Nishikori, who ousted No. 1 seed Nicolas Almagro.

    Marcos Baghdatis earned a place in the Malaysian Open semifinals on Friday with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Jurgen Melzer. Baghdatis, a wild card entry, struck 13 aces and won 85 percent of his first-serve points to advance after one hour and 28 minutes.

    The 60th-ranked Cypriot served big the entire match and was never broken. He saved two break points in each set, so one break of his own allowed him to serve out the opening frame of play at 5-3.

    Melzer raised his level and picked up his aggressiveness in the second. The 21st-ranked Austrian fought off three break points to stay on serve and even had a set point with his opponent serving at 4-5. When it progressed to a tiebreaker, however, Baghdatis regained control and dominated it seven points to three.

    Kei Nishikori also advanced on Friday by taking out top-seeded Nicolas Almagro 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 during quarterfinal action. Nishikori won his third consecutive three-set match of the week, this time prevailing in two hours and 14 minutes.

    The world No. 54 led 5-3 in the first-set tiebreaker but lost four consecutive points to hand the set to Almagro. Two games away from victory, the 11th-ranked Spaniard cracked at 4-4 in the second. Nishikori seized his third break of the day then closed out the second frame of play on serve at 5-4.

    Nishikori's break in the ninth game of set two sent Japan's No. 1 player on a huge, match-deciding streak. He also broke immediately to open the third and Almagro never could get back on serve. Nishikori surrendered only six points in his last five service games and did not face a single break point.

    Next up for Nishikori is Janko Tipsarevic, a winner via first-set retirement over Nikolay Davydenko. Baghdatis will go up against No. 2 seed Viktor Troicki for a place in Sunday's final. Troicki got past Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4.

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