Federer Overcomes Nishikori to Reach Shanghai Masters Semifinals – Roger Federer produced his best match yet this week in Shanghai, overcoming Kei Nishikori to reach the semifinals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. The Swiss maestro displayed a sharp, aggressive game from the start, breaking the 28-year-old Japanese player’s serve in the opening game, and soon after taking a 4-1 lead. Despite Nishikori redeeming one break of serve, the 37-year-old Swiss maintained his one break lead to take the first set 6-4. The second set saw the 20-time grand slam champion overcome a 1-4 deficit, avoiding three consecutive three set matches in three days. He would hold serve at 5-6 to force a tiebreak, then overcome another 1-4 deficit, this one in the tiebreak, closing the gap to 3-4 with back to back aces.
One powerful forehand later and a shot from Nishikori into the net gave Federer a mini-break lead, which he then closed out the match with two precision-struck first serves. After 1 hour 52 minutes, Federer booked his spot into the semifinals with a 6-4 7-6 (4) victory.
“It was a tough match. 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,” Federer said, comparing the quarter-final to his first two matches in Shanghai. “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.”
Federer will face Borna Coric next, in Saturday’s semifinals. The two have faced off twice in 2018, with the Swiss winning their meeting in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, and Coric winning in the final of the Gerry Weber Open.
“He’s also really improved his game, stepping up in the court and hitting through the shots more than what he used to,” Federer said. “I think it’s going to be tough. He’s good in defence. He has a transition game now too, and he’s got a solid serve. He’s had a good tournament here again. I have always played him when he’s playing well.”