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Nishikori beats Wawrinka in straight sets at ATP finals

Britain Tennis ATP Finals

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland plays a return to Kei Nishikori of Japan during their ATP World Tour Finals singles tennis match at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)


LONDON -- For the first time, Stan Wawrinka lost a match at the ATP finals to someone who hasn’t been ranked No. 1 in the world.

The U.S. Open champion, who has reached the semifinals of the season-ending tournament for the last three years,

Wawrinka holds a 6-7 record at the tournament for the top eight players in the world, but his previous six losses were against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - twice to each.

Monday’s loss doesn’t mean Wawrinka is out of the tournament, but it hurts his chances of finishing the year as the No. 3-ranked player. Wawrinka, Nishikori and Milos Raonic all have a chance to end up one spot behind Andy Murray and Djokovic.

Nishikori, currently ranked fifth, helped his own chances of reaching that third spot by breaking Wawrinka twice in each set while not allowing a single break point on his serve.

Later Monday, Murray will face Marin Cilic, taking the court as the No. 1-ranked player for the first time.

Djokovic, however, can still overtake Murray and finish atop the rankings depending on this week’s results.