10/6/12 5:23 PM | Kelli DeMario
World No. 15 Milos Raonic is through to the Japan Open final after ousting defending champion Andy Murray in three sets. The sixth seed, who saved two match points during the contest, will face 8th seed Kei Nishikori for the title.
(6) Milos Raonic def. (1) Andy Murray 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4)
Sixth seed Milos Raonic advanced to the championship final after holding on to defeat top seed Andy Murray. The 21-year-old rallied from a 1-4 final-set deficit to seal a 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) victory in two hours and 46 minutes.
"Here, from the first match, I’ve been more aggressive, have come in as much as I can when I’ve created the opportunities and play under my terms more so than just waiting around," said Raonic. "A big thing I changed coming into this week, is that I’m returning a lot closer. That took time. A big part of it is mental, preparing (myself) for that and having that instinct and drive to go after it when (I) have the opportunities to get ahead in the points."
“From my side, I would have liked to have started the match better. That would have helped me,” Murray said. "But he played well behind his serve, especially in the first couple of sets. That made it tough for me."
(8) Kei Nishikori def. Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2
Eighth seed Kei Nishikori is through to the final by virtue of his straight-sets ousting of former world No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis. The 22-year-old converted four of 6 break points en route to a 6-2, 6-2 win in just 61 minutes. Nishikori, who entered the match trailing 0-3 lifetime against Baghdatis, held eight service games without facing a break point.
"It’s an incredible feeling because I’m in a final in my home country," Nishikori told RakutenOpen.com. "I didn’t think I would be in the final, so I’m very happy. I haven’t won a tournament in four years so hopefully I can win tomorrow."
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