• Nishikori crushes Cilic to reach Memphis quarterfinals

    2/22/13 10:32 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nishikori crushes Cilic to reach Memphis quarterfinals Kei Nishikori makes quick work of Marin Cilic on Friday in Memphis. Nishikori is through to a quarterfinal encounter with either Alexandr Dolgopolov or Marinko Matosevic.

    Kei Nishikori thrashed No. 1 seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the U.S. National Indoor Championships on Friday afternoon. Nishikori withstood 12 Cilic aces to break four times and advance in one hour and 12 minutes.

    Cilic's lone highlight--aside from a second-set racket smash--was battling back from a break down in the first. However, success was short-lived for the 12th-ranked Croat. Nishikori added one more break then served out the opener at 5-4.

    It was all but over when Nishikori won two of his first three return games in the second. A dispirited Cilic managed a meaningless hold for 2-5, but it only delayed the inevitable. Nishikori dug out of a 15-30 hole in the final game and converted his first match point with a crushing forehand winner.

    Japan's top player will go up against either Alexandr Dolgopolov or Marinko Matosevic for a place in the title match.

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