The Sony Open 2014 met with another surprise when Japan's Kei Nishikori outplayed Roger Federer in the quarterfinals by 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Nishikori will meet Novak Djokovic in the semifinal on Friday.
Nishikori took around two hours and eight minutes. This is the first-night session match in Miami, and Federer seemed out of his rhythm on his serve all-through but showed his relentless power from the baseline.
"Just couldn't find my rhythm on my serve, which was surprising especially after how well I played and served especially this week ... It didn't take off the same way it did during the day time. You can expect that with the temperature drop," Federer said.
Federer managed to grab the first set serving at only 38 per cent. However, he pushed up to 53 per cent and got break lead twice, at 2-1 and 4-3 in the second set of the match. But confident Nishkori took every opportunity, returning both times and broke one more time to secure the second set by 6-5.
The third set was tight and went to tiebraker, with both holding the serve. At 4-5, Federer got stuck with two bad forehands, falling behind by 0-40. He saved two match points, but Nishikori was eyeing for the right chance when in the third he made a backhand crosscourt that finally sealed the fate of Federer.
While most of the matches have been scheduled in daytime, this match organised in the evening posed a problem to Federer adjusting to the lights and change in temperature.
"But still I had the set and a break and another break again...So it's a bit frustrating, but Kei did well to stay with me," Federer said.
"I was hitting both deep and striking well. Everything was going well," Nishikori said.
From the start of the tournament, Nishikori was poised to topple top seed players Grigor Dimitrov (No.16), David Ferrer (No.4), and the win against Roger Federer (No.5) was simply outstanding for this No.21 seed from Japan.