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Nishikori reaches Washington semifinals for 1st time by withstanding 15 aces in win over Groth

  • Kei Nishikori, of Japan, reaches for a return against Sam Groth, of Australia, during a quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Kei Nishikori, of Japan, reaches for a return against Sam Groth, of Australia, during a quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kei Nishikori, of Japan, follows through on a return to Sam Groth, of Australia, during their quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Kei Nishikori, of Japan, follows through on a return to Sam Groth, of Australia, during their quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sam Groth, of Australia, serves the ball to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during their quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Sam Groth, of Australia, serves the ball to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during their quarterfinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday Aug. 7, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

Kei Nishikori withstood 15 aces and managed to break Sam Groth's big serve twice for a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the Citi Open quarterfinals Friday.

The second-seeded Nishikori, last year's runner-up at the U.S. Open, saved all four break points he faced en route to reaching a tournament's semifinals for the sixth time this season — and first in five appearances at the hard-court event in Washington.

The first Japanese man to reach a Grand Slam final improved to 41-9 in 2015. Only Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have won more ATP this matches this year, with 48 apiece.