- ATP Tour
Federer suffers shock defeat in Madrid
Defending champion Roger Federer crashed out of the Mutua Madrid Open after suffering a third round 6-4 1-6 6-2 defeat to an impressive Kei Nishikori.
Federer simply did not produce his best tennis and was made to suffer by his stubborn Japanese opponent.
A tight opening set was decided with one sloppy service game from world No. 2 Federer, as Nishikori pounced to take advantage from a rare slip-up.
That one lapse proved costly for Federer, who looked otherwise comfortable on his serve, as world No. 16 Nishikori held out to take the set having only won five points off his opponent's serve.
The tide began to turn in the second and this time it was Nishikori who suffered a rare service blunder. Despite clawing back to save three break points, Federer finally broke through to take hold.
Federer's demeanour changed from his patchy first set as he reverted back to his cool, collective type. The No. 2 seed began to entertain the crowd, making two deft drop shots and a perfectly placed lob to take the match into a decider.
But 31-year-old Federer could not capitalise on his own momentum, as Nishikori brushed his poor second set aside and took the initiative in the third.
The Japanese 23-year-old continued to impress, racing into a 4-1 lead before unleashing a commanding service game to go within one game of a famous victory and leave Federer serving to stay in the match.
Federer suffered one more untimely shocking service game, handing his opponent two match points. An hour and 35 minutes after the start of the first set, Nishikori sealed victory to knock the defending champion out and set up a quarter-final tie with world No. 113 Pablo Andujar.
As a result of the defeat, Federer will drop down to No. 3 in the ATP World Rankings.