Tennis: Nishikori to face Federer in Paris Masters quarterfinals

Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson on Thursday to advance to the Paris Masters quarterfinals, setting up a clash with Roger Federer.

Nishikori, who fell to Anderson in the Erste Bank Open final last week, claimed a 6-4, 6-4 win against the world No. 6 South African at the last men’s event before the season-ending tour final.

«I think the first game was everything today. I think I was able to have a good start,» Nishikori, who opened the match by breaking Anderson’s first service game, said. «After that, I couldn’t get any points on return, so I took some risks and played more aggressive, and I did it. I’m happy to play well today.»

«I had to fix some things to take my revenge on Kevin. Maybe he didn’t play his best today, but I think I played good tennis.»

With his 42nd win of the season, the 28-year-old Japanese booked a quarterfinal match Friday against 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer, whom he has beaten only twice in eight attempts. Nishikori was knocked out of the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals by the Swiss world No. 3 last month.

«I have to figure out how to play Roger again, but I think I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks so hopefully I can bring that again tomorrow,» Nishikori said.

Currently 11th in the world, Nishikori is expected to return to the top ten for the first time in over a year. He has reached the quarterfinals or better in his last six events.

Nishikori is currently ninth in the race to the eight-player ATP Finals in London, but with Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro both withdrawing from the ongoing Paris ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event due to injury, their participation in the season finale is in doubt.

Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who also advanced to the quarterfinals, occupy the seventh and eighth spots, while American John Isner will remain in 10th behind Nishikori after losing to Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the third round.

All — Kyodo News+

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