• Nishikori, Blake bid for Basel quarterfinal

    11/3/11 12:38 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Nishikori, Blake bid for Basel quarterfinal Wildcard Kei Nishikori is set to take on Andreas Seppi early Thursday, as the players look to reach the final eight in Basel. James Blake will face off against lucky loser Mikhail Kukushkin for the second time this week.

    (WC) Kei Nishikori vs. Andreas Seppi

    World No. 32 Kei Nishikori opened his Swiss Indoors Basel bid with an upset over 4th seed Tomas Berdych. The 21-year-old secured three service breaks en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory in two hours and 4 minutes.

    He is bidding for his seventh quarterfinal of the season.

    World No. 50 Andreas Seppi dismissed Gilles Muller in the first round, 7-6(2), 6-7(2), 6-2. The Italian looks to make his second consecutive quarter, having reached the same stage in St. Petersburg.

    (Q) James Blake vs. (LL) Mikhail Kukushkin

    World No. 60 James Blake holds a 2-0 lifetime edge against lucky loser Mikhail Kukushkin. The two met earlier this week during qualifying, where the American scored a three-set victory in the final round.

    Blake passed into the round of 16 after compatriot Mardy Fish pulled out with injury. The players had completed one game when the 5th seed called it a day with left hamstring pain.

    The 31-year-old will attempt to make his second tour-level quarterfinal this season.

    Kukushkin knocked out wildcard Donald Young in the first round, 6-4, 6-2. The 23-year-old looks to record his 10th tour-level victory this year.

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