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Kei Nishikori looks to reach his third Gerry Weber Open semi-final this week in Halle.

Nishikori Slides Through Grass-Court Season Opener

Japanese will next meet Zverev or Khachanov

Two-time Gerry Weber Open semi-finalist Kei Nishikori started his grass-court season with a convincing 6-3, 7-6(3) win against German qualifier Matthias Bachinger on Monday in Halle.

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The seventh-seeded Nishikori, who reached the last four in 2014-15, won 70 per cent of his second-serve points (19/27) and broke three times to advance in 82 minutes. Nishikori will next meet German Mischa Zverev or Karen Khachanov of Russia.

I think I played very solid this match today. He’s never an easy player, especially I think on grass, he can be dangerous. He was coming to the net really well and if he got that second set... you never know what is going to happen in the third,” Nishikori said.

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Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut saved all four break points and overcame big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-1. The fourth seed feasted on Struff's second serve, winning 72 per cent (18/25) of those points.

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Bautista Agut, who made the quarter-finals last year, will next face Dutchman Robin Haase, who evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Portugal's Joao Sousa (2-2) with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory. Haase and Sousa have split their two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings (1-1).

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