SINGAPORE - Rising star Kei Nishikori said Thursday he needed to emulate US Open champion Andy Murray's new aggressive style of play if he is to challenge the top players in the men's game. The Japanese player was hailed as a future promise after he won an ATP Tour title in 2008, aged 18, in only his sixth start on the tour and just a year after turning professional. However Nishikori's win in Delray Beach, Florida, remains his only ATP title to date and he currently ranks 17 in the world, well below Murray whose switch to a more attacking-minded game saw the Scot make his Grand Slam breakthrough earlier this month.
"I want to be a little bit more aggressive," Nishikori told a press conference in Singapore. "Like you've seen Andy, he is coming to the net more and he had a good result this couple of months so hopefully I can play like him, little bit more aggressive, more consistent," the Japanese star said.
Nishikori said he watched the US Open final and observed that Murray, who has been criticised in the past for being too defensive, was going for his shots especially on the forehand side against Novak Djokovic. "I saw the final, it was unbelievable like rallies at almost every point," said Nishikori. "He was attacking, using more forehand... I think that is what he was working (on) so that made him win the Open and I think he is going to win more and more." Nishikori, Japan's top player with a career high ranking of 16 in March, rates his 2012 season as a "decent year" so far despite being interrupted by injuries which sidelined him for two months.
Robson into semis at Guangzhou: Rising British star Laura Robson on Thursday reached the semi-finals of the WTA Guangzhou Open by defeating China's Peng Shuai 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.
The 18-year-old world No.74, who made it through to the last 16 at the US Open earlier this month with wins over Li Na and Kim Clijsters, needed more than three hours to defeat her Chinese opponent, ranked 27 places above her.
To reach the last eight Robson had defeated the second seed, Zheng Jie of China 6-3, 6-3. She next plays third-seeded Sorana Cirstea, the world No.30 for a place in the final. The Romanian beat Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 6-3. The second semi-final will be between Ursula Radwanska of Poland and Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan.