10th May, 2013
Defending champion Roger Federer was stunned by Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the last 16 of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Despite a second-set fightback, the second seed was too often below his best form and succumbed in an hour and 35 minutes to end his first tournament back after a two-month break.
Nishikori led by a break in the first set and, although Federer held serve at 3-5 to keep himself in the set, he fired a backhand into the stand at set point as Nishikori took a shock lead.
Federer responded in predictable style, by winning the second set 6-1, but Nishikori broke in the fourth game of the deciding set to nudge ahead once more.He held to lead 4-1 and then 5-2 and, after a pair of unforced errors from Federer set up match point, the Japanese player completed the break to wrap up a 6-4 1-6 6-2 win.
Nishikori told Sky Sports 4 afterwards: “He started playing much better in the second set, the match was going his way, but I played a bit more aggressive and was playing well.
“I think it’s the biggest win (yet) for me – especially on clay, it’s not my favourite court. It’s an amazing day for me.”
The result set up a shock quarter-final against wild card Pablo Andujar, who progressed after fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver was forced to retire at 5-5 in the first set.
Fifth seed Rafael Nadal, in contrast to Federer, was scarcely troubled in beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3.