Kei Nishikori reached his third final of the season on Saturday after beating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3 at the Erste Bank Open.

The 11th-ranked Nishikori is after his 12th career title but first since winning in Memphis in February 2016. He has lost eight straight finals since.

His opponent Sunday will be either Kevin Anderson or Fernando Verdasco, who played the second semifinal later Saturday.

Japan's Kei Nishikori reacts after winning his match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Japan’s Kei Nishikori reacts after winning his match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Currently in ninth place in the race for the ATP Finals, a win would move Nishikori closer to a starting berth for the eight-man event in London next month.

Nishikori held serve throughout against Kukushkin, who came through qualifying. He used his first break point to close out the first set before running into a 3-0 lead in the second.

Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan returns the ball to Japan's Kei Nishikori during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan returns the ball to Japan’s Kei Nishikori during their semifinal match at the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

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Source: The Associated Press

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