New York: Kei Nishikori edged closer to a first ATP Tour in two years at the New York Open on Friday after coming from behind to defeat Moldova's Radu Albot and claim a semi-final berth.
The Japanese fifth seed, who is on his way back from a five-month injury layoff, recovered from dropping the opening set to defeat Albot 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in Long Island. Nishikori dropped out of the top 20 last year for the first time since 2014 following a wrist injury. He launched his comeback this year on the ATP`s Challenger circuit before returning for his first full tour event in New York.
The 28-year-old -- who won this tournament four years in a row before it moved to New York from Memphis -- will now play either top seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa or American hopeful Frances Tiafoe in the last four.
In the other side of the draw, second seed Sam Querrey delighted the home fans after bundling out big-serving Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic in straight sets, winning 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4). Querrey, who has climbed to a career-high 12th in the world rankings, edged Karlovic thanks to a flawless service game, losing just six points on serve.
"I couldn`t have served much better," Querrey said. "I don`t even know if we went to deuce, and I had good rhythm on my serve, and that`s what freed me up a little bit in the tie-breaks."
Querrey will now face France`s Adrian Mannarino in the semi-finals on Saturday. Mannarino advanced to the last four after defeating Spain`s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.