Nishikori, Raonic, Simon into Japan Open semifinals with straight-sets wins

Kei Nishikori moved closer to a second Japan Open title by defeating unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The seventh-ranked Nishikori won 80 percent of his first serves and relied on his powerful forehand at key points.

The third-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada and Gilles Simon of France also won in straight sets to set up their semifinal on Saturday.

Nishikori, champion in 2012, awaited either Benjamin Becker of Germany or Jack Sock of the United States, who met in the late match.