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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tennis round-up: Dimitrov vs Nishikori in Brisbane; Murray-Djokovic face off in Doha

Tennis round-up: Dimitrov vs Nishikori in Brisbane; Murray-Djokovic face off in Doha

January 07, 2017 15:37 IST

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov reacts after winning his match against Canada’s Milos Raonic at the Brisbane International semi-final at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane on Saturday

IMAGE: Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov reacts after winning his match against Canada’s Milos Raonic at the Brisbane International semi-final at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane on Saturday. Photograph: Steve Holland/Reuters

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov upset top seed and defending champion Milos Raonic of Canada at the Brisbane International on Saturday to set up a title clash against Japan's Kei Nishikori.

Seventh seed Dimitrov saved a set point in the opener on his way to a 7-6(7), 6-2 win over world number three Raonic in 88 minutes in the second semi-final at the Pat Rafter Arena.

World number five Nishikori had an almost identical win against Swiss US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who went down 7-6(3), 6-3 in the first semi-final of the warmup event for this month's Australian Open.

There was little to separate Dimitrov and 2016 Wimbledon finalist Raonic in the first set, both players making the most of their big serves and not offering a single break-point opportunity.

Dimitrov managed to nose ahead by edging the first set tiebreak 9-7 before racing away in the second with two breaks of serve to seal the match.

Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, won five of the final six points in the tiebreaker to claim the first set. After an early exchange of breaks in the second, the Rio Olympic bronze medallist got the decisive break in the seventh game.

Murray-Djokovic meet in Doha final

Andy Murray reacts after his win over Tomas Berdych at the Qatar Open semi-final in Doha on Friday

IMAGE: Andy Murray reacts after his win over Tomas Berdych at the Qatar Open semi-final in Doha on Friday. Photograph: Ibraheem Al Omar/Reuters

Andy Murray and champion Novak Djokovic will go toe-to-toe in the Qatar Open final after the world's top two players laid down their markers for the 2017 season.

World number one Murray swept aside Czech third seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4 to record his 28th consecutive victory and will be targetting a sixth title in succession on Saturday.

Djokovic, who was deposed as world number one by Murray in November and was beaten by the Scot in their last showdown -- in the title match of the 2016 season-ending ATP World Tour Finals - will be hoping to avoid the hiccups he faced against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Friday's semi-final.

The Serb saved five match points to stay alive before eventually subduing Verdasco 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3.

Source:
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