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Top Four to the fore in Japan

Defending champion Rafael Nadal fought off a spirited challenge from Colombia's Santiago Giraldo yesterday as the top four seeds including Andy Murray safely reached the semi-finals of the Japan Open.

Former World No 1 Nadal, playing his first ATP tournament since losing in the US Open final last month, needed a tie-break to set him up for a 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 win.

On Saturday Nadal will take on American No 1 Mardy Fish after the fourth seed defeated Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1. In the other semi-final,  Murray will bid to win back-to-back tourneys after his win in Thailand, as he takes on David Ferrer. 

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