The two top seeds were yet to drop a set when their semi-final’s opponent took them to the cliff edge. Both, Kei and Marin, dropped the second set and strangely, ended up winning the first and the third set with the same scores and almost in same time.
Kei Nishikori defeated Muller, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 in 134 minutes; Marin Cilic defeated Zverev, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3 in 130 minutes, whereas, the number of games played in both the matches is also identical, 31. Kei had won the previous of their 2 meetings.
Kei managed a win but had to fight back. Muller held two match points in the second set before Nishikori went to win the match. He committed a lot of unforced errors in the first set. He was leading the first set 3-1, when Muller broke back to take his second game of the set. Nishikori failed to hold the service game at 2-4. Muller won 4 consecutive games and sealed the set.
Nishikori gave it back in the second, stretching the set to a tie-break. He served 2 aces to his opponent’s 8 aces. Muller had two match points in the second set before it went to a tie-break, and Nishikori saved both. His aces were a big advantage. Kei managed to break back, and took the set, giving only 3 points to his opponent. He was back in the match. “Gilles is a great server and I wasn’t making many returns today,” Nishikori said. “I made a lot of unforced errors to lose the first set.”
In the third, Muller got broken on his service games, and didn’t compete the way he did in the previous two sets. Hence, Nishikori won and will face Cilic in the final. “I knew he was coming in [on match point],” “I tried to play with confidence even on my second serve. My arm was shaking a little bit, but I managed to get through that tough moment.” said Kei.
Cilic, who defeated the Wild Card, Mischa Zverev to secure a place in the finals, said “Mischa played great this week,” “He was serving and coming to the net extremely well. When I saved those break points at 4-4, 0-40 in the second set, that was the turning point of the match. That gave me some confidence. The third set was a battle but I felt I was better in the end.”
Like Kei, he also went down in the first set, and the latter half of the second set, set to be the turning point of the match. Cilic was back in the match after the eighth game of the second set, as he himself said. Mischa, though didn’t reach till the match point, but was only one game away from it. A Wild Card player reached this far, he has still got it in him, Cilic saw it in him too. The Croat is aiming to reserve a berth for ATP World Tour Finals, London. He is at the 9th spot, and as he has reached the finals of The Swiss I doors, he has now surpassed Berdych for the 8th spot, while the other finalist, Kei Nishikori has already qualified for London at the 5th place.
The final is going to be a replay of the 2014 US Open, where Cilic was crowned the champion. Nishikori leads the head-to-head, 7-4. The last ATP 500 tournament will end today, without Roger Federer being one of the finalists for the first time in last 12 years.