Nishikori beats Klizan to return to Barcelona Open final
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Defending champion Kei Nishikori is back in the final of the Barcelona Open after beating Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2 Saturday.
The top-seeded Japanese will face either third-seeded David Ferrer or Pablo Andujar in Sunday's final.
Klizan had won their only previous match at last year's French Open, but Nishikori dominated their second meeting on the same outdoor court where he won his first clay-court title.
Nishikori won the first five games of the match and saved all six of Klizan's break points.
The 25-year-old Nishikori is trying to add to his eight career titles.
''I am really excited to come into the final again here,'' Nishikori said. ''I played a really solid match today, everything was perfect. I am very happy with the win and the way I am playing.''
Nishikori had another strong start by claiming 21 of the first 27 points with a complete mix of winning shots, including a beautiful lob that fell on the line.
Nishikori closed out the first set with a slicing backhand approach shot and broke Klizan for the second time in the second set to close out the win in 1 hour, 17 minutes.