In Tokyo, 2-time Grand Slam finalist and London hopefull Kevin Anderson fell to Richard Gasquet 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
“It was a great match, I played well. It was really intense, every single point. I played my best level. You need to play very good when you are facing Kevin,” Gasquet said. “I played two incredible tiebreaks, that’s why I think I won the match. I’m very happy with the way I played.”
Anderson has failed to make the semifinals at his last three events.
Gasquet, who has played tiebreaks in five of six sets this week, will face Kei Nishikori in the semifinals on Saturday.
“I’m playing well,” Gasquet added. “I’m free of injuries. I can play well, I can practice, that’s why I’m playing this level. Of course I’m winning tough tie-breaks this week. That’s great for me. Of course I’m serving well. I’m not making bad mistakes and I was offensive at the end of the match to close it.”
The local favorite and 2-time champion Nishikori upended youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-3.
“I think it was one of the best service matches I’ve had the past couple of months,” Nishikori said. “I’m very happy with my serve. I had many free points, many aces and only a few games I struggled today, so I was serving really well. That’s why I was able to be aggressive on my return games.”
It was a mixed day for Canadians as Denis Shapovalov saved a match point in a 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 win over Jan Lennard Struff. But Milos Raonic was upset by qualifier Daniil Medvedev 7-6(4), 6-3.
“In the third set I felt a little bit more momentum,” said Shapovalov who saved the match point with Struff serving 7-6 in the second set tiebreaker. “I felt I was able to free up a bit more and I managed to get an early break and from there I just kind of ran with it.”
Shapovalov is into his third ATP semifinal of the year and first since Madrid. He is seeking his first ATP level final.
“It’s another opportunity for me to try to make my first final at an ATP event. But honestly, like I always do, I take it one match at a time. I’m very happy to escape today and I have another tough match tomorrow,” Shapovalov added. “I’m not too focused on the situation. I’m just going to try to focus on the things that I could do well in terms of how I play tomorrow and what I do, my strengths and stuff like this. And yeah, just try to win the match. Obviously it’s a good opportunity, but I’m just going to focus on the match itself.”
Shapovalov leads Medvedev 2-0 though the Russian has two titles this year and has won 15 of his last 17 matches.
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