• Nishikori closing in on Basel semis

    11/4/11 12:29 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Nishikori closing in on Basel semis Wildcard Kei Nishikori will be in quarterfinal action on Friday, set to take on lucky loser Mikhail Kukushkin. The winner moves on to face either world No. 1 Novak Djokovic or Marcos Baghdatis in the semifinals.

    World No. 32 Kei Nishikori has a 1-0 series edge against Mikhail Kukushkin entering into the quarterfinal. The two first met this summer during the Masters 1000 Cincinnati qualifying rounds.

    Nishikori passed into the final eight by virtue of his straight-set victory over Andreas Seppi. The 21-year-old is seeking his second consecutive semifinal, having made the same stage in Shanghai.

    Kukushkin defeated fellow qualifier James Blake in the round of 16, successfully avenging his loss to the American earlier in the week. He is bidding for his first tour-level semifinal of the season.

    Prediction: Nishikori in straight sets.

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