Nishikori toughs out opening set
The Japanese number one was presented with an immediate test as Wawrinka held three break points in the opening game, but Nishikori came through to hold. It proved to be critical as the Swiss was holding easily, nearly perfect on serve.
Following another deuce game on Nishikori's serve, both men held easily to force a tiebreaker. That turned out to be a mess as the returner won five straight points which saw Nishikori emerge with a 5-3 lead, eventually growing to 6-2 lead and wrapping it up 7-3 to take a one set lead.
Nishikori glides through second set to reach first Brisbane final
In the beginning of the second set, it was Wawrinka who was under pressure as Nishikori pressured the opening service game of the reigning U.S. Open to deuce. Wawrinka held on, but it was only delaying the inevitable as a missed backhand up the line at 15-40 gave Nishikori the break and a 3-1 lead.
Wawrinka was able to break back, but the momentum was short-lived as the 2014 U.S. Open finalist broke again for a 4-2 lead. This time, despite another challenge in the next service game, Nishikori held his advantage and he closed out the match with a love hold to make his way into the final with a straight sets triumph over Wawrinka.
Dimitrov the opponent in the final
Nisikori faces Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the final after the seventh seed upset top seed and defending champion Milos Raonic. The world number five has a perfect 3-0 record against Dimitrov.