Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Anderson wins Vienna title to seal ATP Finals spot

Anderson wins Vienna title to seal ATP Finals spot

Kei Nishikori will have a chance to win his first ATP title in over two years on Sunday (Oct 28) after beating qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 6-3 to reach the Vienna Open final.

His victory is the latest in a dream year for South Africa's top-ranked singles tennis player after reaching his second career Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

Nishikori leads the field with 60% of second-serve return points and 38% of return games won in the tournament before the match, and the semifinal confirmed the trend as Kukushkin won just 57% of second serve points.

He became the sixth player to qualify for the eight-man, season-ending event in London, joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer, and Alexander Zverev.

"I felt I came pretty close the two previous seasons, but I missed out on it". "You've been a world-class player year-in and year-out so best of luck for the rest of the year".

The Japanese star triumphed 6-4 6-3 to improve his record against the Kazakh to 8-0. His fifth career title marks his first outside the ATP 250 level. Each of the World No. 8's previous trophy wins - in Johannesburg, Delray Beach, Winston-Salem and NY - came at ATP World Tour 250-level events. "It has been a long time coming... any time you make a final, you want to put the history behind you and it was always going to be a tough match", said Anderson. "I couldn't be more pleased to have kept at it and finally broken through at this level". With Nishikori leading 5-4, Nishikori had two chances and converted the second set point.

Nishikori is still in the running for a year-end championships spot, and lost his ninth consecutive final since winning at Memphis in 2016.

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