• Murray takes on Nishikori in Shanghai semifinals

    10/15/11 1:47 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Murray takes on Nishikori in Shanghai semifinals Andy Murray will continue his quest for a third consecutive title when he takes the court on Saturday in Shanghai. Standing in his way of a final spot is surprise semifinalist Kei Nishikori.

    Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they square off in the semifinals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Saturday.

    For Murray, his appearance in the last four comes as no surprise of any kind. With Novak Djokovic on the sidelines, Murray is the hottest player on tour at the moment. The fourth-ranked Scot won the Bangkok and Tokyo titles back-to-back, thrashing Donald Young in Bangkok then blasting Rafael Nadal by the same 6-2, 6-0 score--after losing the first set.

    So far in Shanghai, Murray has taken out Stanislas Wawrinka and Matthew Ebden in addition to getting a second-round walkover past Dmitry Tursunov. The No. 2 seed is now 52-11 for his 2011 campaign, including a ridiculous 23-1 dating back to the start of the Cincinnati Masters.

    Nishikori's entry into the semifinals, on the other hand, is a considerable shock. The Japanese sensation had never won a main-draw match at a Masters event prior to this year and he went into Shanghai with just one such victory (first round of the Miami Masters).

    That's not to say, however, that Nishikori is in poor form; far from it. He owns a 32-19 record for the year and is on course to shatter not only his own career-high ranking, but also the highest ranking ever for a Japanese man. Nishikori earned his spot in the last four this week thanks to victories over Robin Haase, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Santiago Giraldo, and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

    "I feel like home here," Nishikori said after disposing of Dolgopolov. "It means a lot to play semis here. I'm really excited now."

    It has been a great run for Nishikori, but the chances of it continuing into the final are obviously slim. While Murray has not looked quite like a world-beater as he did against Nadal in Tokyo, he should have more than enough to cruise in straight sets.

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The garbage man is taking advantage while number one is resting. LOL
Looks like he left mommy at home again.

pennster , 10/15/11 1:55 AM

I'd like to see Nishikori win his first MS, but he had too many tough opponents to overcome.

scoretracker , 10/15/11 9:13 AM

A friend for painster. Since his friend passed away, painster no longer has anyone to criticise with, so he is looking for a new partner to lob insults with.
To be painster's friend, you must: 1) consider every tennis player other than your favourite to be garbage. 2) not be able to define what you actually like, but be able to criticise everything and everyone else. 3) have the persona to complement painster's charm (I think painster's the one on the left) - U6s/s1600/muppet-show.jpg
The world wouldn't be such a colourful place without his likes!

alex , 10/15/11 1:01 PM

alex, hi! Now I know how to get Andy to play well, you must leave the country.....just kidding and nice to see you. Just me rooting for Andy at one point..v. lonely!

deuce , 10/15/11 2:04 PM

Sitting comfortably on the other sofa.

ed251137 , 10/15/11 2:45 PM

ed., Andy is serving so well, am almost ON the sofa...;)

deuce , 10/15/11 2:47 PM

Too good!
Come on Andy!
When his serve is clicking, he's so difficult to beat.
Nishikori's had a gr8 week! Good luck to him in 2012.

deuce , 10/15/11 3:13 PM

Andy playing great tennis at the moment! What a serve! He is a joy to watch...

natashao , 10/15/11 3:22 PM

terrible stream, but saw enough to sit down with lunch at the start of set 2. 66% 1st serves very nice. muzz had to work much harder for last week's 500 than he's having to for this one. i mean baggie, nalby, ferrer and rafa (not to mention winning the doubles) - makes you wonder which was masters week.
ferrer no pushover, but last week he was semifinalist not finalist.

alex , 10/15/11 3:23 PM

Three cheers for Andy and to you, Alex and Sosueme. Does this mean Andy has clinched the year end No.3 spot or is it still dependent on Paris and WTF?

ed251137 , 10/15/11 3:26 PM

deuce - sorry to let the side down last week but, hey, what wrong with just you and muzz when he's playing like that;)
natashao - yep, muzz a joy to watch right now, more therapeutic than stress inducing!

alex , 10/15/11 3:30 PM

ed - thanx.
as far as i'm aware, muzz still has to win tomorrow to make #3 and even then still has a way to go to end the year #3.
i'm not sure what muzz and roger have to defend in paris?

alex , 10/15/11 3:33 PM

I am assuming he has this one wrapped up!

ed251137 , 10/15/11 3:38 PM

yes i ought to assume the same ... but am still afraid to ... the straightforward nature of all this is very hard for some muzz fans to adapt to.

alex , 10/15/11 3:47 PM

Congrats to Murray and his fans, in particular deuce, sosueme and alex. So it's now Murray's turn to hand out breadsticks and bagels, learning fast from Nole!

luckystar , 10/15/11 4:19 PM

Thanks Lucky,
Would have preferred a much more competitive 3 setter for Andy...
Andy won very single point on his first serve bar one, 96%.
Daveeed is going to need to play his best ever tomorrow to have chance.

Sosueme , 10/15/11 5:24 PM

ed @ 3:26
just done the arithmetic for after shanghai. federer has 2610 points to defend, murray 625. Pretty hard to imagine muzz not ending year at #3, regardless of tomorrow.
Federer better do the numbers for ferrer before he books too many more holidays ;)

alex , 10/15/11 7:51 PM

Congratulations to all of Murray's fans. An easy win as expected and he seems to be in great form.

I couldn't stay up until the wee, wee hours of the morning, but came here to check out the results.

For deuce, alex and Sosueme, this is your time to celebrate. I think there will be more to celebrate after the final. Ferrer is a fierce competitor and will give it his all. I respect him very much, however Andy seems to be in the zone now and will not be denied.

I sense a #3 ranking! :)

Nativenewyorker , 10/15/11 9:00 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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