• Murray closing in on Brisbane final

    1/4/13 6:25 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Murray closing in on Brisbane final Defending champion Andy Murray looks to reach another final in Brisbane as he takes the court against 5th seed Kei Nishikori. The players are set to contest their third career meeting on Saturday.

    Andy Murray holds a 2-0 series edge against world No. 19 Kei Nishikori. The two last played at 2012 Australian Open, where quarterfinal match went to the Scot in straight sets. Nishikori will be looking to win his first set against Murray, having dropped five consecutive through two meetings.

    Murray made the semifinal following his straight-sets dismissal of Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. The Scot held 11 service games through to a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory in an hour and 37 minutes.

    "For the most part it was pretty good quality," Murray explained. "He served well for the majority of the first set, and especially well at the beginning the second. So I didn't really have that many chances on returns, so I needed to serve well today. That helped."

    The world No. 3 is seeking a berth in his 38th career tour final.

    Nishikori secured a semifinal spot after downing 2012 Brisbane International finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov. The world No. 19 came through the match in 87 minutes, 6-4, 7-6(3).

    "It's going to be a big step year for me," Nishikori commented. "I will try to get into the Top 10 hopefully and stay healthy and stay strong. That's the goal for this year."

    The 23-year-old is bidding for his first final since early fall 2012, when he completed a title-winning effort in Tokyo.

    Prediction: Murray in straight sets.

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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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