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Nishikori becomes first Japanese male to break top 10

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 10/05/2014
Rising son: Kei Nishikori of Japan is undefeated in his past 13 matches. Rising son: Kei Nishikori of Japan is undefeated in his past 13 matches.

 Kei Nishikori ensured he will become the first Japanese player to make the top 10 of the ATP rankings with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Spain's Feliciano Lopez to make the Madrid Masters semi-finals.

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 semi-finals of the Miami Masters in March before having to withdraw because of a groin problem and won his first 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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