Anderson Wins Vienna, Clinches ATP Finals Spot, Keeps Nishikori Winless Streak Alive

Japan's Kei Nishikori reacts after winning his match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna Austria Saturday Oct. 27 2018

Japan's Kei Nishikori reacts after winning his match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna Austria Saturday Oct. 27 2018

Nishikori, who has lost eight ATP finals since his last win in Memphis in 2016, is still in with an outside chance of joining Anderson and company in London.

Anderson hit 19 aces and won 77 percent of first-serve points as he beatVerdasco in just under 2-1/2 hours to reach his fifth final of the season.

Kukushkin battled hard in the Austrian capital, but was broken when serving to stay in the first set and Nishikori maintained the momentum by breaking again at the start of the second.

No. 2 seed Anderson was given more of a challenge as he defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

"It's fantastic. It's been a huge goal of mine all year", said Anderson.

Anderson has a shot at a fifth career title and second of the year after winning in NY in February.

A tight second set went to a tiebreak with Anderson landing his 13th ace of the match to win his landmark title.

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Anderson will be the first South African in 23 years to feature in the season-ending tournament in London next month after a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) defeat of Nishikori.

With the win, Nishikori reclaimed the No. 9 spot in the ATP Race to London and is now 25 points ahead of American John Isner, who was knocked out of the 500 series tournament by France's Gael Monfils in the second round.

In Switzerland, Federer moved a step closer to a ninth title albeit he was out of sorts in his 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-4 beating of Gilles Simon.

Federer dominated the 20th-ranked Medvedev and had his first match-point chance to break serve again at 5-1.

Nishikori has a 4-2 record against Anderson from six previous meetings, including a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4) win in NY in February.

Anderson's success in Vienna was the biggest of his career to figure in the ATP Top 10 for the first time.

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