Yoshihito Nishioka moved into the Delray Beach Open semifinals with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 comeback win over Ugo Humbert on Saturday. The world No. 64 has had to battle deep all week, dropping the first set in three of his four matches.
Sunday will mark his second career ATP final. Nishioka has been a tour champion before, winning in Shenzhen in 2018. He's also technically already won a trophy in Delray, as he beat out Mario (Jordan Thompson) and Luigi (Steve Johnson) in the DBO Kart race.
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The 24-year-old relates a lot to Yoshi, not just because it's his nickname.
"[The] Yoshi character is the most, I think, fastest character in 'Mario'," Nishioka told TENNIS.com. "And I think I am fast, too. I think this is really a match, in name and in style. Hopefully, everybody remembers me, Yoshi."
Nishioka has been overshadowed by Japan's No. 1 Kei Nishikori for most of his career, but he's doing his best to make a name for himself. While another title would be huge for Nishioka, he's got bigger goals on the horizon.
Andrew Patron/BigShots Photo
"This season I have the Tokyo Olympics," Nishioka said. "Now my ranking is going to be very close so I want to get more points and I want to get in for sure. [It'll be] very exciting to play the Olympics. "
He's made huge progress toward that goal this week. Nishioka is projected to rise inside of the Top 50 for the very first time. He'll face the winner of Reilly Opelka and Milos Raonic for the title. The winner of Opelka and Raonic will be forced to play twice on Sunday, as their semifinal was suspended due to rain.