Memphis Open. Day Six.

It’s been 8-years since the Memphis Open Final saw the two top-seeds battle it out for the Gibson Guitar Championship Trophy. In 2007, Tommy Haas came in as the number-2 and took-down top-seeded Andy Roddick to win his third Memphis title. This year, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson looks to upset two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori.

Only Tommy Haas, Andy Roddick and Jimmy Connors have won the Memphis Open title three or more times…no one has ever won it three years in-a-row. The first man from Asia ever to reach a Grand Slam final now has a shot at writing even more history Sunday afternoon in Memphis.

Kevin Anderson. (Photo: Ron Angle)
Kevin Anderson. (Photo: Ron Angle)

Both Kevin and Kei had to come from behind to reach the Final. Anderson’s first serve had been a reliable weapon all week, but he had trouble dialing it in on Saturday. Donald Young would deliver Kevin his first break of the week and take the first set 6-4. 2-all in the second was the most critical game of the match. Anderson was down 0-40 facing three break points. Young simply needed one point to be up a set and a break, but couldn’t convert. One point at a time, Kevin served his way back to deuce, where the two clashed for several minutes. Anderson would eventually win the game, shift the momentum and roll the rest of the way.

As he’s done all week, Kei Nishikori also dropped the first set. 2010 champion Sam Querrey broke the two-time defending champ at 5-all, then served out the set. Again, momentum was in an American’s favor. Both held serve through the second set, where Nishikori delivered the tie-break to stay alive. Sam then broke Kei early in the third – an opportunity to score his first win over a top-5 player since defeating Novak Djokovic at the Paris indoors three years ago…but Kei broke right back, eventually forcing a third set tiebreak, then capturing the win at the 2-hour and 41-minute mark.

Kei Nishikori. (Photo: Ron Angle)
Kei Nishikori. (Photo: Ron Angle)

Needless to say, this has been an amazing week for Donald Young and his family. Not only did he compete in his fourth career singles Semifinal, he teamed with New Zealand’s Artem Sitak to reach his first ATP World Tour doubles Final. Young and Sitak delivered a determined win over veterans Scott Lipsky and Treat Huey 7-6(0), 6-4 in the Semifinals, scoring Artem his seventh consecutive win since the Australian Open (he won the doubles title last week in Montpellier).

In the other doubles Semifinal, the #4-seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez toppled top-seeds Max Mirnyi and Ivan Dodig, denying “The Beast” a chance to compete in his 91st career doubles Final. Mariusz and Santiago came into Memphis 0-3 on the year. A win over Young and Sitak would silence any doubts about the new partnership. Gonzalez will compete for his 10th career title; Fyrstenberg is going for his 17th.

DAY-6 RESULTS: Stadium Court

[4] Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez def. [1] Max Mirnyi and Ivan Dodig 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-5
[2] Kevin Anderson def. Donald Young 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kei Nishikori def. Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(5)
Donald Young and Artem Sitak def. Treat Huey and Scott Lipsky 7-6(0), 6-4

DAY-7 SCHEDULE: Stadium Court (12:30p start)

[4] Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez vs. Donald Young and Artem Sitak
[1] Kei Nishikori vs. [2] Kevin Anderson