Nishikori stuns Federer to reach Miami semis

Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:19am EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - A tireless Kei Nishikori shocked 17-time grand slam winner Roger Federer 3-6 7-5 6-4 on Wednesday to claim his second top five scalp in two days and reach the semi-finals of the Sony Open.

After knocking off fourth seeded Spaniard David Ferrer in a three-hour marathon on Tuesday, the 21st ranked Japanese was forced to go the distance again, surviving a two-hour center court battle with Federer.

Nishikori has been one of Federer's few bogeymen, having now gotten the better of the Swiss maestro in two of their three career meetings.

"To beat Roger, and it's second time to beat him... I thought I really played well, especially in the third," Nishikori told reporters. "I was hitting both deep and striking well. Everything was going well.

"There was couple of tough moments, but I was fighting through and happy to win today."

Arriving in south Florida riding the momentum from a finals appearance at Indian Wells, Federer had been in superb form, cruising into the Miami quarter-finals without dropping a set, highlighted by 49 minute fourth round win over Richard Gasquet.

A two-time Miami champion, Federer convincingly won the opening set and looked ready for an easy night when he twice went up a break in the second.

But each time, the feisty Nishikori would immediately answer back then broke Federer again at 6-5 to level the match.   Continued...

 
Mar 26, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Kei Nishikori hits a forehand against Roger Federer (not pictured) on day ten of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports