Del Potro into Japan Open semis; Nishikori out
TOKYO (AP) — Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro overcame Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Japan Open semifinals on Friday.
Del Potro broke Dolgopolov twice in the second set and again to go up 3-1 in the third set at Ariake Colosseum. He closed out the match with another break when Dolgopolov’s return was long.
“Everything today was difficult,” del Potro said. “At the beginning of the match, I hit my forehand well and he was always able to return it. I was still fighting and broke him in the second set and that gave me confidence for the third set.”
The Argentine will face sixth-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain in the semis on Saturday. Almagro beat local favorite and defending champion Kei Nishikori 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-3.
Third-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada hit 11 aces in a 6-3, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, lining up a semi with Ivan Dodig of Croatia.
“I got into the first service game right away and that allowed me to get into the match,” Raonic said. “And I just got better and better.”
Raonic is coming off a win in the Thailand Open last Sunday and will be seeking his third title of 2013. He lost in the final of last year’s Japan Open to Nishikori.
Dodig beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 7-6 (3).