MIAMI: Novak Djokovic eliminated defending champ Andy Murray in straight sets and while fifth seed Roger Federer was sent crashing out of the ATP Tour’s Miami Masters tournament in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Federer lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Japanese 20th seed Kei Nishikori who booked a semifinals show–down with former world number one Djokovic who defeated Murray 7-5, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Crandon Park.
“Kei did well to stay with me and not allow me to hold my serve,” Federer said.
Nishikori reached his second Masters semi and first in 2 1/2 years by winning the two hour, nine minute night match.
“I thought I really played well, especially in the third,” Nishikori said. “I was hitting both deep and striking well. Everything was going well.
Nishikori next faces Djokovic, who is going for back-to-back Masters titles after his triumph at Indian Wells.
They split their only two previous matches with Djokovic winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 at Roland Garros in 2010. They also played on the hardcourts three years ago in Switzerland where Nishikori won in three sets, 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0.
Nishikori blasted six aces and won 64 percent of his first serve points against Federer. He has now won two of three career meetings against Federer. He also won their last encounter on clay in Madrid in 2013, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Federer, the recent Dubai champion, has previously won in Miami in 2005 and 2006.