By Ricky Dimon
There was no Roger Federer vs. Nick Kyrgios showdown at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.
Kyrgios withdrew from the tournament prior to their schedule quarterfinal contest, citing food poisoning. The 21-year-old Australian, who upset Novak Djokovic in the fourth round, missed a chance to improve on his 1-0 lifetime record against Federer and his 4-1 combined mark against Federer, Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal.
“Unfortunately I am unable to play today due to sickness,” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter. At this stage we think it’s food poisoning and I’m praying it’s nothing more. After a restless night of being sick I have nothing left and to play a great champion like Roger, I need to be at my best to have a chance.
“I don’t take this decision lightly, these are the matches we train for but I’m in no fit state to take to the court. I’m sorry to the fans that I’m unable to take to the court but I have to put my health first and I hope you understand. I want to wish Roger the best of luck for the rest of the tournament and thank every one for their support so far here at the BNP Paribas Open.
“I will definitely be back.”
Federer will be back in action on Saturday, when he goes up against Jack Sock in the semifinals. Sock won his fourth consecutive three-set match of the fortnight on Friday afternoon, upsetting No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
“I was really looking forward to playing the match,” Federer told the disappointed fans in Stadium 1. “It’s a pity.”
Instead, the crowd was treated to an exhibition singles match between Vasek Pospisil and tournament director Tommy Haas. Pospisil reached the third round as a qualifier, beating Yen-Hsun Lu and Andy Murray in the main draw before succumbing to Dusan Lajovic in three sets. The Canadian lost his set against Haas 6-4 on Friday.