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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Kei Nishikori corrected his bad record in Brisbane International semifinals by beating US Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final for the first time at the season-opening tournament.
Wawrinka, who won the Chennai tournament in India in the first week of the season for the three previous years, had treatment on his lower left leg at the end of the first set tiebreaker and twice again in the second set.
Third-seeded Nishikori took full advantage, converting his first break point in the second set to take a 3-1 lead when Wawrinka missed consecutive backhands. The No. 2-seeded Wawrinka broke back immediately, but dropped his serve again in the next game.
Wawrinka beat Nishikori in the semifinals of the US Open last year; his only win in their last four matches. With his win Saturday, Nishikori has leveled up his career head-to-head record against the three-time major winner at 4-4.