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Nishikori Upsets Top Seed Cilic, Lopez Records 300th Win

Memphis, U.S.A.

Matosevic© Memphis Tennis/Alex SmithMatosevic fired 11 aces en route to victory against Dolgopolov

Feliciano Lopez ended the run of American wild card Jack Sock 6-4, 6-3 in 82 minutes to book a semi-final berth at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships on Friday in Memphis.

The left-hander, contesting his first tournament since the Australian Open, fired seven aces and saved four of five break points to clinch his 300th win on the ATP World Tour.

"It’s good accomplishment and means that I’ve been able to play a long time without many injuries," Lopez said.  The 31-year-old is the first Spaniard to reach the final four in Memphis since Jose Higueras in 1978.

His semi-final opponent is World No. 63 Denis Istomin, who lifted to defeat a spirited Michael Russell 6-4, 7-6(5) in one hour and 37 minutes on his third match point.

The 26-year-old Istomin fired eight aces and won 73 per cent of first-serve points on the way to his first semi-final of the season. Lopez has won both the pair's previous meetings, though they have not clashed since 2010.

Top seed Marin Cilic bowed out of the tournament, losing 6-4, 6-2 to fifth seed Kei Nishikori in their quarter-final.

The right-handed Croat had saved three match points in his second-round match against Igor Sijsling, but couldn't fight past Nishikori, who lifted his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Cilic to 3-2 with the victory.

"It's getting better every match...little by little," the Japanese World No. 22 said of his level of tennis, adding that indoor courts suit his game. 

The 23-year-old Nishikori served four aces compared to his opponent's 12, but won 69 per cent of points on serve in the 72 minute-long match to become the first Japanese player to reach the semi-finals in Memphis since the tournament's 1976 inception.

"I was dominating with my serve,"  Nishikori admitted. In the 12th ATP World Tour semi-final of his career, he'll face Australia's Marinko Matosevic, who ousted seventh seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.

"He has a good serve," Nishikori said of Matosevic, adding that World No. 53 could be a dangerous player. Nishikori won their only previous meeting at the 2013 Brisbane International 7-5, 6-2. 

The 27-year-old Matosevic clinched the victory after two hours and two minutes, on his fourth match point. The right-hander won 87 per cent of first-serve points and fired 11 aces to book his third career ATP World Tour semi-final.

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