Japan’s world No. 14 Kei Nishikori dumped defending champion Roger Federer out of the Madrid Masters at the third round stage yesterday as he beat the 17-time Grand Slam champion 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
The Swiss seemed to have found his rhythm in the second as a double break saw him take the set 6-1, but Nishikori dominated the third set as he broke to go 2-1 in front and then again in the final game to move into the quarterfinals
Nishikori will face Spain’s Pablo Andujar for a place in the semifinals.
The Japanese hadn’t been beyond the last-16 of any tournament since winning in Memphis back in February, but he showed no sign of nerves throughout against the three-time champion in Madrid.
“I’m disappointed with my match. Today Nishikori played better and the best man won,” said Federer.
Earlier, Rafael Nadal edged closer to a possible Madrid Masters semifinal showdown against old rival Roger Federer yesterday by easing past Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny and into the last eight.
World No. 5 Rafael Nadal saw off Youzhny 6-2, 6-3 and will next face either Tommy Haas of Germany or Spanish compatriot David Ferrer.