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Summary

  1. Kei Nishikori beats David Ferrer 4-6 6-4 6-1
  2. Ferrer replaces injured Raonic before match
  3. Murray must beat Federer in straight sets for semi-final place
  4. Federer confirmed into semi-finals
  5. World Tour Finals at O2, London
  6. Relieve action via Live Coverage tab

Live Reporting

By Sam Sheringham

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Right folks, I'm heading off to dream about what I could do with $240,000, but I'll be back with all the build-up to Murray against Federer from 19:30 GMT. I trust you'll be joining me?

    Good. It's a date.

  2. Post update

    Kei Nishikori & David Ferrer

    I doubt Ferrer will dwell too long on his disappointment however. He'll head off for an end of season holiday with $240,000 in his back pocket. Stick it all on red?

  3. Post update

    Just looking at the stats and it was a tale of missed opportunities for Ferrer. Both players had nine break points in the match, with Nishikori taking five and Ferrer only two.

  4. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at the O2 Arena in London

    "The O2 crowd finally got three sets, and more than that they got 41 winners and a performance that will demonstrate to those not too familiar with Nishikori just why he is already among the game's elite. The odds are that he will face Djokovic in the semi-finals, which might be one of the few match-ups that would worry the Serb after his US Open semi-final defeat. For now, the 40 Japanese journalists who took accreditation for the first time might need to call their hotels ahead of the weekend."

  5. Post update

    Kei Nishikori

    "Almost perfect" hardly does it justice. As Andrew Castle hinted, Kei Nishikori looked a Grand Slam champion in the making in that third set. He seems to have the work ethic and style of Michael Chang, but with an extra dose of power on both sides. A little more work on the serve and we could be looking at a new superstar of the game.

  6. Post update

    Kei Nishikori: "The third set was almost perfect. I served well and everything worked well in the final set. We've played each other four times this year and always three sets."

    On the late change in opponent after Milos Raonic pulled out injured, Nishikori added: "It was really difficult to make this adjustment - they told me one hour before the match, it was tough to change tactics but I'd prepared well and I'm happy to win today."

  7. Post update

    Andrew Castle

    BBC tennis commentator on BBC Two

    "Nishikori will be an all-court threat for years to come. He is deadly on a clay court too. At his first World Tour Finals he has won two of his three group matches. Very impressive indeed."

  8. Post update

    Tim Henman

    Former British number one on BBC Two

    "I think it's fitting that Nishikori went through. Ferrer came in as a reserve and put in a great performance. He can't have had much notice but the way these guys move, it was really nip and tuck in first two sets. When Nishikori serves consistently he can dictate the points from the back of the court."

  9. Murray maths

    That result ensures Roger Federer's place in the semi-finals. Nishikori has one foot in the last four, but could still go out if Murray wins tonight. The Scot must beat Federer in straight sets to go through. Any other outcome and the British number one is out. A single set for Federer means Nishikori is through in place of Murray.

  10. Game, set and match Nishikori

    Nishikori 4-6 6-4 6-1 Ferrer

    Nishikori

    It's all over. Nishikori breaks again and takes the final game to 30 when Ferrer goes long.

  11. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 6-4 5-1 Ferrer*

    Ferrer still looks pumped for this one. And with reason. He knows he still has a chance on the inconsistent Nishikori serve. A forehand blast is too hot for Nishikori to handle and he nets to give his opponent two break points. They are both saved, followed by two more. And Nishikori finishes off the game with another sumptuous sliced forehand dropshot winner.

  12. Post update

    Tim Henman

    Former British number one on BBC Two

    "You can hear and see that David Ferrer still thinks he's got a chance of getting back into this game against Nishikori's serve."

  13. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 6-4 4-1 Ferrer

    David Ferrer

    Nishikori looks like one heck of a frontrunner. He's gone through all the gears and is now officially in overdrive. To his credit, Ferrer claws back from 0-30 to 30-30 and then from 30-40 to deuce. Two good serves later, he has his first game on the board in the third set.

  14. Post update

    Vassos Alexander

    BBC Sport commentator

    "Nishikori's taking this deciding set by the scruff of the neck and he's not letting go."

  15. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 6-4 4-0 Ferrer*

    Not long left now, it seems. Nishikori serves out to love and is now only two games away from victory.

  16. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 6-4 3-0 Ferrer

    Kei Nishikori

    This match is only heading in one direction now. Ferrer smacks his racquet on the ground in frustration after double faulting to go 0-30 behind and heads to the net for a new one. Nishikori misses a sitter but makes amends with a backhand winner for two break points. He misses the first one by a whisker but hits the slot with a crosscourt backhand to round off the double-break.

  17. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 6-4 2-0 Ferrer*

    Brilliant from Nishikori now. He's keeping the points short and really starting to stick the knife in. At 40-15, however, he plays a rare loose shot and misses a forehand by some distance. It matters not as Nishikori closes out a 2-0 lead.

  18. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 6-4 1-0 Ferrer

    The boys in the Beeb box know their stuff you know. Nishikori dictates from the first point, and breaks at the first opportunity when a powerful return rushes Ferrer into a backhand, that drifts beyond the baseline.

  19. Post update

    Who's your money on then? Andrew Castle is backing Nishikori. Tim Henman, eventually, agrees. Here we go, with Ferrer serving.

  20. Wrist risk

    Slight delay as Nishikori leaves the court. He re-emerges, shaking out his right wrist slightly.

    A close-up of Nishikori during the last game showed him grimace and after a shot. He received medical treatment on the same issue last time out. Could that start to become a problem as this game enters a deciding set?

    Nishikori gets treatment on his right wrist against Roger Federer in his previous match
    Image caption: Nishikori gets treatment on his right wrist against Roger Federer in his previous match
  21. Game and second set Nishikori

    Nishikori 4-6 6-4 Ferrer*

    Nishikori lands a pair of big serves then hoists a pinpoint lob over his opponent to open up two set points. A clean backhand winner ensures we are going to a deciding set for the first time in the tournament.

  22. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 5-4 Ferrer

    Ferrer attacks the net and pulls of a crisp backhand volley to go 40-15 up. Another big serve gets him the game. This is high quality tennis from both players, with very few unforced errors.

  23. Henman hopes Tour Finals stay at O2

    Tim Henman

    Former British number one on BBC Two

    "There's this debate going about whether these championships move on from London when the current contract ends. I hope not. They get incredible crowds here and it is a fantastic season-ending tournament."

  24. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 5-3 Ferrer*

    Ferrer plays one of his best shots of the match to pass Nishikori at the net, but it proves to be his only point of the game as the Japanese moves to within one game of the set.

  25. Post update

    Andrew Castle

    BBC tennis commentator on BBC Two

    "We're starting to talk about a third set here. We haven't seen a deciding set in the whole tournament so far - no match has gone to the best of three - amazing."

  26. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 4-3 Ferrer

    Just like his opponent, the 32-year-old Ferrer seems to be finding his service rhythm when it matters.. He recovers from 15-30 when Nishokori mis-times a couple of groundstrokes.

  27. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 4-2 Ferrer*

    Nishikori

    Nishikori is landing a lot more first serves now. His second set percentage is over 70, whereas he was in the low 50s in the first set. Two big serves finish off a service hold to 15.

  28. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 3-2 Ferrer

    Nishikori takes a forehand early for a winner to earn a deuce on the Ferrer serve. The Spaniard holds on to keep in touch in this second set.

  29. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 3-1 Ferrer*

    Ferrer finds the sweet spot to lace a backhand down the line and put pressure on the Nishikori serve at 15-30. The Japanese keeps his cool and keep his break of serve intact.

    It's a big "if" I know, but if these two had big serves they'd be right up there with the likes of Federer and Nadal. I hesitate to write Djokovic too, because having watched him last night, I'm convinced he's is on another planet right now.

  30. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 2-1 Ferrer

    Nishikori

    Ferrer is using the whole court to put Nishikori through his paces. Another love game is completed when the Japanese goes long.

  31. Post update

    Nishikori 4-6 2-0 Ferrer*

    Nishikori shows his feathery touch once again to land the perfect drop shot and holds serve to love. Good start to the second set for the world number five.

  32. Group B permutations #bbctennis

    Perumtations
  33. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-6 1-0 Ferrer

    Ferrer takes his eye off the ball and is soon three break points down. Two are saved, but Nishikori snaffles the third to seize the early running in the second set.

  34. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at the O2 Arena in London

    "Cries of "Vamos!" have been in unusually short supply at the O2 this week in the absence of Nadal and, until now, Ferrer but Spanish voices can be heard now as their man takes control. There might be a few Swiss whoops around too as that set means Federer is through to the semis. I think."

  35. Game and first set Ferrer

    Nishikori 4-6 Ferrer

    Oh dear, looks like we put the mockers on Nishikori. He plays a howler of a game to lose the first set. He misses a chance to challenge that would have won his a point, then double fault to go 15-40 down. A smash into the net gives Ferrer the set.

  36. Post update

    Chris White, you may have a point. He certainly has great grace around the court. But he'll have to take one of those hands off his backhand to get anywhere near Federer's beauty to me.

    Here he is, serving to stay in the set.

  37. Post update

    Tim Henman

    Former British number one on BBC Two

    David Ferrer

    "Ferrer doesn't play the board, just the ball. What I mean by that is that you'd never know whether he's a break up or a break down. He doesn't ever get despondent, he's just relentless. This is him day in, day out - whether on the practice court or match court, he fights for every ball."

  38. Get involved

    Chris White: Dare I say it? Nishikori the most beautiful player since Federer?

  39. Ferrer burning rubber

    Andrew Castle

    BBC tennis commentator on BBC Two

    "How many pairs of shoes do you think Ferrer brings to a match? He's like an F1 car when the camera zooms in at the end of the race and you see all the burned rubber."

  40. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-5 Ferrer

    Ferrer has gone up a gear, creaming a forehand into the space to go 40-0 up on the way to a comfortable service hold.

  41. Post update

    Nishikori 4-4 Ferrer*

    Nishikori

    Ferrer responds to the service break like a true champ, taking the first two points against the serve. Nishikori win a the next two, but then pulls a forehand into the tramlines. A long rally follows, with Ferrer largely in control, pushing Nishikori further and further back before the Japanese nets. All square once again.

  42. Post update

    *Nishikori 4-3 Ferrer

    Ferrer dumps a backhand into the tape and Nishikori has a glimmer at deuce. A brilliant backhand volley from Nishikori, picked up inches above the playing surface, gives him a break point. A superlative forehand crosscourt winner lands him the first break of the match.

  43. Post update

    Nishikori 3-3 Ferrer*

    Nishikori is only 5 ft 10 ins, but his favourite shots are down the line over the highest part of the net. Here he is under pressure on his serve though as Ferrer drills one into his toes at the net. He saves one break point then a second with an outrageous sliced forehand drop shot winner.

  44. Best ever serve

    Tim Henman

    Former British number one on BBC Two

    Ivo Karlovic

    "If I had to go for one, I'd say Ivo Karlovic, for the angles and the height I came down from. But being around 6'10" his was 'unusual'. The best 'normal' first serve I faced was Pete Sampras."

  45. Get involved

    BBC Two are running a debate on the greatest server in tennis history. Here are a few of your entries to #bbctennis:

    Joe: In general for me it would have to be Pete Sampras. Technique, accuracy & consistency

    Adrian Ham: Best serve: Sampras. Great power especially second serve. Incredible ability to hit the lines on clutch points with 1st and 2nd

    Rory Zachilroy: In terms of all time, Andy Roddick has a great shout.

  46. Post update

    *Nishikori 2-3 Ferrer

    David Ferrer

    Another blazing backhand from Nishikori gives us the first deuce of the match. He may be the one with the pecs and piceps but Ferrer is in danger of being overpowered here. Still, after saving a break point, Ferrer holds on to keep the match on serve.

  47. Post update

    Nishikori 2-2 Ferrer*

    Nishikori, in a crisp white cap, falls 15-30 down on serve but fights back with three successive winners. The first is a looped, deep forehand, the second two are blistering backhands down the line. What a talent this man is.

  48. Post update

    Miles Maclagan

    Former coach to Andy Murray and Laura Robson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "One thing we should address is the huge change in tactics for Kei Nishikori in the last couple of hours. Because he's gone from facing the big-serving Raonic to the grinding Ferrer - the two couldn't be more different and that's a big mental adjustment.

    "Poor old Kei Nishikori. In any other year the alternate would probably enjoy a few nights out, a couple of dinners maybe. But the year he's got to face the alternate it's David Ferrer, who has been practising for hours."

  49. Post update

    *Nishikori 1-2 Ferrer

    This already looks a good contest with the muscular Ferrer against the subtle touch of the Japanese. One sizzling rally ends with a Ferrer backhand overhead. The Spaniard signs off with an ace and we're still on serve.

  50. Post update

    Nishikori 1-1 Ferrer*

    Kei Nishikori

    Ferrer, whose dedication to the gym is well-known, looks as fit as ever. And Nishikori is soon under pressure at 30-30 on his own serve. But the Spaniard's next return goes long and Nishikori pulls out a big serve to level things up.

  51. Post update

    *Nishikori 0-1 Ferrer

    Ferrer starts like he's never been away, holding to 30 as Nishikori nets a backhand.

  52. Head-to-head

    head to head

    These two have met three times in 2014 - and each match has gone to a deciding third set.

    Nishikori roared back from one set and 5-2 down in the Paris Masters quarter-final last month to beat Ferrer in three and effectively confirm his O2 qualification.

    The Japanese has also come out on top of their other two titanic tussles this year with a 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-3 win in the Madrid semi-final and a 7-6 (9-7) 2-6 7-6 (9-7) fourth round victory in Miami.

    So our first three-setter of the week then?

  53. Post update

    Vassos Alexander

    BBC Sport commentator

    "Ferrer is just such a beautiful hitter off both sides"

  54. Post update

    I make that $395,000 that Ferrer could make from about two hours' work. Anyone care to suggest a similarly lucrative (and legal) pastime? Get in touch via the usual ways and means. Tweet to #bbctennis, Facebook and text.

  55. Ferrer fervour

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at the O2 Arena in London

    David Ferrer in action

    "It's been widely noted how diligently Ferrer has been practising all week without much likelihood of getting on court, such is his ferocious work ethic. It has also been noted that he had already pulled out of an upcoming event in India with a back issue. Anyway, the Spaniard will play in his fifth consecutive season finale and could do Murray a huge favour with a positive result.

    "And if I might mention the vulgar subject of cash, Ferrer receives $85,000 for being an alternate and a $155,000 appearance fee, as well as $155,000 if he gets a match win. Which is nice."

  56. Raonic bows out

    Milos Raonic

    Milos Raonic on Twitter: "I am sad to announce that I have to withdraw from the rest of this competition, due to a low grade tear in my quad. It was a hard decision. You, the fans deserve a great show and I wouldn't step out if I couldn't. I am sorry for the fans. I will do everything to be here next year."

  57. BBC coverage

    Don't forget you can watch this afternoon's match live on BBC Two, or listen to commentary on BBc Radio 5 live Sports Extra. Both are available by clicking on the Player at the top of this page.

  58. Post update

    Confused? I don't blame you. Suffice to say Andy Murray supporters should be cheering on Ferrer this afternoon in the hope that he can get one over on the US Open finalist from Japan.

    Remember Nishikori beat Murray in the first round-robin match, so if the Scot and Nishikori were both to lose, the Japanese would go through on head-to-heads.

  59. Murray's maths...

    Raonic's withdrawal means Andy Murray will now have to beat Roger Federer tonight to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. Ferrer could play the match of his life, but he will not be able to qualify for the last four. Here's the nice simple explanation of how things could pan out, courtesy of the ATP Tour.

    Group B permutations
  60. Post update

    Less than two hours before his scheduled meeting with Kei Nishikori at 14:00 GMT, world number eight Milos Raonic withdrew with a quad injury. Sadly, former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had other plans, so Spain's world number 10 David Ferrer steps in.

  61. Post update

    Solksjaer

    Good afternoon tennis fans. Welcome back to our coverage of the ATP World Tour finals in London. I arrive with news of a last-minute Supersub....