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Nishikori beats Nadal, ends Japan's 96-year wait

17 August, 2016, 00:54 | Author: Lula Armstrong

Murray is just two wins away from retaining his title in the men's singles tennis category at the Olympic Games, but faces a tough opponent in Nishikori, who has been equally impressive at the quadrennial sporting event.

However, Johnson began to find his range with a powerful forehand and while strong on his own serve, Murray could find no way through on the Californian's whose early break was enough to wrap up the second set.

The last four showdown will take place on Saturday and Murray will surely need to play much better to make the final.

"Andy gave me a lot of pressure and my concentration just wasn't there to beat him", said the fourth seed.

Learn about three-time Grand Slam victor Andy Murray, reigning Olympic men's singles gold medalist and current world no. 2. "It's obviously not an easy thing to do".

Neither showed any physical weakness in a three-hour contest that was played in a raucous din and which ended with Del Potro flat on the court after a 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7/5) victory. She will compete in the final for what may be her country's first medal of the Rio Games.

But the Briton will have his work cut out for him today.


Del Potro seemed to draw energy from a blue-and-white-clad contingent of fans from Argentina, whose loud chanting from the rafters - typical of Argentine soccer matches - at times drew rebukes from the chair umpire on Saturday.

Del Potro, who knocked out world number one Novak Djokovic in the first round, won the pair's most recent match in Shanghai in 2013. He converted the second on a miss by Nadal, who made only six unforced errors in the first set and 25 over the last two. Nadal now has a chance to add a bronze medal to his gold medal from the 2008 olympics.

The Scot, who repeatedly grabbed the back of his left leg towards the end of the match, is aiming for a prize spot in history as the only man to win consecutive Olympic men's singles titles. Nadal skipped the London Games due to a knee injury. He beat Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon, stunned Djokovic in the first round here and, after an Olympian effort against Nadal in last night's semi-final, he stands on the verge of winning gold for Argentina, four years after winning bronze in London.

"I didn't expect to reach the final, beating Djokovic and Rafa", del Potro said, "but I did, and I get a medal, and it's fantastic for me".

But the silver means the 36-year-old matched the most medals won by a tennis Olympian, equaling the five held by Britain's Kathleen McKane Godfree from the 1920 and '24 Games. He did not play again after the grass court grand slam until the Rio tournament.

Andy Murray is the first man to win Olympic singles tennis gold on two occasions. Safarova and Strycova had defeated three-time champions Serena and Venus Williams in the first round but were beaten by Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the semi-final. But Hlavackova was accidentally hit in the eye by Hingis and her challenge fizzled out as a result.

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