Federer exits Madrid Open after defeat to Nishikori
Defending champion Roger Federer was dumped out of the Madrid Masters by world No14 Kei Nishikori as the Japanese ace came through 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in their third-round clash.
Second-seeded Federer, who had just returned to the tour after a two-month break, joins world No1 Novak Djokovic in being eliminated early in the Spanish capital, and his lack of match practice showed.
One break was enough for Nishikori to take the opening set 6-4, but Federer roared back in the second to take it 6-1.
However, with the momentum seeming to be with the 17-time grand slam champion, it was Nishikori who edged ahead when he broke to move 3-1 in the third. And after comfortably holding serve in his next two service games, the 23-year-old broke again to seal a first career win over Federer.
"He was my idol actually, so to beat him, that was one of my goals for my tennis career," Nishikori said.
Meanwhile, Spanish claycourt king Rafael Nadal avoided becoming the latest big name to be dumped out as he recovered from a set and a break down to beat compatriot David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 to make the semi-finals.