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Nishikori Wins, Anderson Answers, Zverev One Win Away From London At Shanghai Masters

@keinishikori battles back and breaks Federer, then holds for a 4-3 lead in the second set of the pair’s @SH_RolexMasters quarter-final. – Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter.



By Ricky Dimon


Kei Nishikori climbed one spot in the race to London thanks to his performance at the Shanghai Masters, but his Nitto ATP Finals bid ran into a major roadblock on Friday night. That roadblock was none other than Roger Federer, who scored a 6-4, 7-6(4) quarterfinal victory over Nishikori. Federer served at a stellar 71 percent and fired 10 aces compared to just one double-fault while advancing in one hour and 52 minutes.


The 37-year-old Swiss broke his opponent twice in the opening set and seemed to seize complete control when he earned another break to being the second. Nishikori, however, eventually broke back for 3-3 and managed to force a tiebreaker.


Japan’s top player raced to a 4-1 lead in the ‘breaker only to see Federer take the last six points of the contest.


“(In the) second set I think we both played good tennis,” Nishikori assessed. “But (I’m) sad to lose like that…. Maybe next time.”


Two-time @SH_RolexMasters champ @rogerfederer is growing in confidence in Shanghai, showing it with a great performance against in-form Kei Nishikori. – Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter.

Two-time @SH_RolexMasters champ @rogerfederer is growing in confidence in Shanghai, showing it with a great performance against in-form Kei Nishikori. – Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter.

“It was a tough match,” Federer commented. “Obviously Kei hogs the baseline much more than (Daniil) Medvedev did or also what [Roberto Bautista Agut] did. I think it was a different type of match. I was very happy with the beginning of the match, to be quite honest. I played quite great there. Then the second set was key moments who was going to play a little bit better. Kei really tried to step it up one more time. I somehow got it done, so I was very pleased.


“I think I can be very happy with the level of play this week,” the No. 1 seed continued. “There was some good ball striking going on from both of us today. I hope I can keep it up for tomorrow.”


Next up for Federer is Borna Coric, a straight-set winner over Matthew Ebden. They are joined in the semifinals by Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic was especially impressive in a 7-6(1), 6-3 defeat of Kevin Anderson, which marked a rematch of the Wimbledon final.


“I faced one (break point) today, and it was a set point,” Djokovic reflected. “I managed to pull through that one, and I haven’t lost too many points on my serve. So I think that’s a part of my game that maybe is undervalued in a way. But that helps me, obviously, when I have an opportunity to step in on a second serve or swing through in the baseline points…. The conditions are very quick, so holding your serve comfortably is probably the key.”


Zverev, meanwhile, officially clinched his spot in the Nitto ATP Finals by beating Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-4.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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