Roger Federer wins again in the Dubai Championships to reach the quarterfinals, beating Fernando Verdasco for the seventh time, while top seed Kei Nishikori crashes out
- Roger Federer maintained his perfect record against Fernando Verdasco
- Federer is through to the Dubai Championship quarterfinals with that win
- He is favourite for the tournament, especially now Kei Nishikori is out
Roger Federer maintained his perfect record against Fernando Verdasco to reach the Dubai Championships quarterfinals on Wednesday, while top-seeded Kei Nishikori was eliminated.
Federer converted his first match point when Verdasco sent a forehand wide, finishing off a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win that improved his record against the Spaniard to 7-0. Nishikori, though, lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
This was win No. 50 for Federer in Dubai, having won the tournament seven times.
Roger Federer is through to the Dubai Championships with a win over Fernando Verdasco
Federer now has a record of seven wins and no losses against the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco
It was the 50th Dubai win for Federer, who is going in search of his 100th ATP singles title
‘It’s a big number,’ the 37-year-old Federer said when told it was his 50th win. ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to get to 100. Let’s put it that way.’
He’s only three matches away from a 100th tournament title, though, and will next face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 6-2.
Federer has only played Fucsovics once, at last year’s Australian Open, but has trained with him in Zurich and said he’s been impressed with the Hungarian’s game.
‘I know Marton quite well actually,’ Federer said. ‘He’s improved. He likes the fast surfaces. He likes to play up in the court. He has the power when required. I think it’s going to be definitely a match that’s going to test me tomorrow.’
The second-seeded Federer is now an even bigger favorite for the title with Nishikori out. It was Hurkacz’s first win against top-10 ranked player and earned him a place in his first ATP tour quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, top seed Kei Nishikori crashed out of the tournament in a three set thriller
Qualifier Hurkacz was the man to stun Nishikori, converting six of his seven break points
‘It’s a huge win for me,’ Hurkacz said. ‘It gives me huge confidence. I’m going to try to keep going forward.’
Hurkacz converted six of his seven break points, including one when Nishikori was serving for the first set at 5-4. He also broke for a 3-1 lead in the final set with a backhand down the line and again in the last game when the Japanese player hit a forehand long.
‘He played well today,’ Nishikori said. ‘I didn’t serve well when I wanted to. It happens. That cost me some important points. I think he really played well in the important games.’
Hurkacz will next play fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who eased past Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 6-3, 6-1 in less than an hour. Tsitsipas beat Hurkacz last week in Marseille en route to his second career title.
Gael Monfils also advanced by knocking out Cypriot wild-card entry Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2 and will face Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis, who ousted Denis Kudla of the United States 6-4, 6-1.