Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Roger Federer upset by Kei Nishikori at Miami Masters

March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Roger Federer, left, lost to Kei Nishikori at the Miami Masters after leading by a set and break.
Roger Federer, left, lost to Kei Nishikori at the Miami Masters after leading by a set and break.
  • Roger Federer loses to Kei Nishikori in three sets at the Miami Masters
  • Federer entered the match in good form, reaching the Indian Wells final
  • Nishikori overcomes the Swiss after playing three hours the previous day
  • Nishikori meets world No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Kei Nishikori won a bruising three-hour contest against David Ferrer at the Miami Masters on Tuesday. He had plenty left in the tank when he faced a surging Roger Federer.

He didn't have to save any match points against the Swiss great -- the Japanese No. 1 fended off four of them to oust Ferrer, last year's finalist in Miami -- but Nishikori rallied to beat Federer 36 75 64 under the lights on Stadium court Wednesday.

The 21st-ranked Nishikori has now eliminated Federer twice in a row after upsetting the 32-year-old at the Madrid Masters in three sets last year.

"Feeling good, of course, to beat Roger," Nishikori told the ATP's website. "I thought I really played well, especially in the third. I was hitting both deep and striking well.

"Everything was going well. There (were a) couple of tough moments, but I was fighting through."

Japan's 'rock star' tennis pro
Kei Nishikori: Tokyo's rising tennis ace
Roger Federer: You can't always win

Federer entered the match as the substantial favorite despite the defeat in the Spanish capital, having returned to full fitness and finding his old form after a back injury hindered him for much of 2013.

He reached the final at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this month and there was a real possibility of the 17-time grand slam champion making the Indian Wells and Miami finals in the same year for the first time since claiming both titles in 2006.

"I could never really get my service games going," Federer told the ATP's website. "On the return, as the match went on, I think it was that Kei started to serve a bit better, which made it more difficult."

Nishikori became the first man to break Federer in this year's tournament, perhaps not a surprise since he is second only to Ferrer in percentage of return games won in 2014.

Still, Federer led by a break twice in the second set, only to see Nishikori -- whose career has been interrupted by arm and abdominal injuries -- break immediately back.

The lone break of the third set came in the final game.

"I think Kei does really well controlling the ball," said Federer. "He has great technique, especially on the backhand, very simple, very short back swings, so he does a really nice job of having good timing.

"I predict he's going to be in the top 10 in a short while."

Nishikori next faces Novak Djokovic, who defeated Andy Murray in straight sets.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, bidding for a maiden triumph in Miami, plays big-serving Milos Raonic and the in-form Alexandr Dolgopolov encounters Tomas Berdych in the remaining two men's quarterfinals.

Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.