Raonic sets up final date with Nishikori
US Open champion Andy Murray was stunned by Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in the semifinals of the Japan Open on Saturday, ending the Briton’s defence of his Tokyo title.
Local favourite Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to reach the final of the $1.28 million Tokyo event after thrashing Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 in just 61 minutes.
Murray’s temper erupted on several occasions, the Olympic champion smashing another racquet and yelling furiously at himself after blowing a 4-1 third set lead and two match points.
Paes in title round
Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek outplayed Daniele Bracciali and Frantisek Cermak in straight sets to storm into final of the doubles event.
The top seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the Italian-Czech combination scored a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and three minutes in the semifinals.
Azarenka in final
World number one Victoria Azarenka set up a final date with Maria Sharapova at the
China Open after the top two seeds enjoyed comprehensive victories in their semifinals on Saturday.
Sharapova blew away home favourite Li Na 6-4, 6-0 before top seed Azarenka saw off the challenge from France’s Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-2.
Meanwhile, India’s Sania Mirza ended her 2012 season on a disappointing note after she and her partner Nuria Llagostera Vives suffered a straight-set loss in the summit clash of the China Open.
The fifth seeded Indo-Spanish pair lost 5-7, 5-7 to third seeded Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the finals of the USD 4,828,050 hard court event.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Feliciano Lopez in the semifinals of the men’s section to keep alive his hopes of qualifying for November’s season-ending World Tour finals in London.
Third seed Tsonga, ranked number seven in the world, won the first set 6-1 and was up 4-1 in the second when his Spanish opponent retired due to a left wrist injury.
He will meet World No 2 Novak Djokovic in the final.