TOKYO-French second-seed Gael Monfils will face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the Japan Open semifinals, after he beat Croatian seventh-seed Ivo Karlovic Friday.

Fourth-seed Marin Cilic defeated Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-1 and is now pitted against Belgian fifth-seed David Goffin. Monfils pulled off a nail-biting 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6) win against Karlovic, with both men landing nine aces in their 91-minute contest.

Monfils, a runner-up at the Japan Open's 2010 edition, is now set to play Kyrgios, who comfortably fended off a challenge from Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-2.

"I thought I played great today," Kyrgios said in an interview posted on ATP's official web site. "I served well, returned well and my engagement level was really good the whole time."

Croatian Cilic meanwhile will play Goffin in the semifinal, with the Belgian having won their two previous meetings this year. Goffin came from behind to beat Joao Sousa (POR) 1-6, 7-5 and 6-2 in their quarterfinal match.

"It was not easy. From the beginning of the match, I was feeling a little bit nervous, a little bit sleepy also," Goffin said in an interview posted on ATP's official web site. "I was struggling a little bit with my foot work. Then I started to play much better, more aggressive from the start of the second set," he said. "In the third set, I played my best tennis," he said.

Goffin said was eager to advance to the final, but would be focusing on the semifinal against Cilic for now. "I will have a tough match tomorrow," he said. The four men's march toward the Tokyo trophy came as their big-name rivals pulled out due to injuries. Defending champion and US Open winner Stan Wawrinka did not take part in the Tokyo event over back trouble, while local favourite Kei Nishikori, winner in 2014 and 2012, could not finish his second-round match Wednesday because of muscle strain.

Injuries also forced Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, Japan Open winner in 2013, to skip the tournament after receiving an invitation to join as a wildcard.