The Associated PressTOKYO (AP) — Belgian David Goffin reached a second straight Japan Open final with a tense 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6) victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman on Saturday.
Goffin will face either Croatia’s Marin Cilic or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in Sunday’s decider.
A Schwartzman double fault at 6-6 in the second tiebreak gifted Goffin a chance to serve for the match, which he converted.
With no breaks in the first set, Goffin took the initiative in the fifth game of the second. He served for the match at 5-4 only for Schwartzman to break back.
Goffin also held the upper hand in the tiebreak at 3-2, before Schwartzman broke back two points later.
The victory extends Goffin’s winning streak to eight matches, including four in winning his first title since 2014 in Shenzhen last week.
He stands at No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Race to London rankings. With the injured Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka ruled out, 10th place is good enough to secure a spot at the end-of-season showpiece.
Nadal passes Isner test in China
The Associated Press
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal moved into the semifinals of the China Open by beating sixth-seeded John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) on Friday.
The French Open and U.S. Open champion has won five titles this season and is closing in on the year-end No. 1 ranking.
“In general terms, I think I played with not many mistakes,” Nadal said. “I don’t remember a lot of mistakes. I went to the net very often. I think I did the things that I want to do, and I did it well, so very happy.”
Nadal saved all three break points he faced against Isner. He will next play third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2.