GENEVA — Kei Nishikori saved three straight match points in the deciding set before outlasting Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Geneva Open quarterfinals on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
The second-seeded Nishikori was serving at 4-5, 0-40 before rallying to beat the 62nd-ranked South African, who fired 14 aces without allowing any by his opponent.
Top-seeded Stan Wawrinka also dropped the first set in his quarterfinal, against Sam Querrey of the United States, though ultimately had an easier passage in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win.
After Nishikori's escape in the 10th game of the third set, he also trailed 4-2 in the tiebreaker. Still, he soon created a second match-point chance with a forehand crosscourt service return for a winner. He clinched with a forehand winner off a looping net-cord ball.
"There haven't been too many times that I'm down match point and win, so it's great for me," Nishikori said.
The No. 9-ranked Japanese player will face 33rd-ranked Mischa Zverev of Germany in the semifinals on Friday.
The Russian-born Zverev, who came through qualifying, beat fifth-seeded American Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-5.
Wawrinka's next opponent is 85th-ranked Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who beat Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, a lucky loser in qualifying, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.