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Nishikori to be first Japanese man in top 10

MADRID--Kei Nishikori ensured he will become the first ever Japanese player to make the top 10 of the ATP rankings with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Spain's Feliciano Lopez to make the Madrid Masters semifinals on Friday.

Currently ranked 12th in the world, Nishikori will move into the top 10 when the latest rankings are released on Monday thanks to 13-match winning streak.

The 24-year-old reached the semifinals of the Miami Masters in March before having to withdraw due to a groin problem and won his first ever tournament on clay on his return from injury at the Barcelona Open two weeks ago.

“It was a big goal for me to get to the top 10, but it is only one week for now so I have to keep playing better tennis to stay in the top 10,” he said.

“My goal is not just to be there for one week so hopefully I can keep that ranking for a while.”

Nishikori was bothered by a back injury throughout the second set against Lopez.

However, he is hopeful of being fit to face David Ferrer in the last four on Saturday.

“It should be ok. I don't know for sure, I only have half a day to recover so it's going to be hard but hopefully I will be ok.”

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Sharapova into Madrid semis as Serena withdraws
Kei Nishikori of Japan returns the ball during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match against Feliciano Lopez from Spain in Madrid on Friday, May 9.

(AP

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