Madrid Flashback: Roger Federer loses to Nishikori for his worst Caja Magica result

Roger Federer was among the players to beat at Madrid’s Caja Magica between 2009 and 2012. The Swiss claimed two titles and played in another final and the semi-final. Roger ended his excellent run in 2013 after Kei Nishikori dethroned him in the third round with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win in an hour and 35 minutes. It was their second meeting and the first victory for Kei. The Japanese left the second set behind him and started all over in the decider to cross the finish line first despite winning seven points less than Roger. The Swiss played better on the first and second serve, but it was not enough to carry him home. He wasted five out of seven break chances and experienced three breaks to propel the rival over the top and lose a chance to fight for another Madrid crown. Federer had more winners and more forced mistakes, with around the same number of unforced errors on their tallies.

Roger Federer lost to Kei Nishikori in the third round in Madrid 2013.

They were neck and neck in the more extended rallies, and Roger forged the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, although it was not enough to avoid an early exit. Federer held at love in games one and three, and Nishikori was there to fight, firing a forehand winner at 2-2 to grab a break and move in front. The Japanese confirmed the advantage with another forehand winner and held at 15 in game ten to take the opener 6-4 in half an hour. Kei defended two break chances in the second set’s second game with winners before Roger converted the fourth in game four to open the lead and move 4-1 in front after two winners on his serve at deuce.

Federer grabbed another break and closed the set with four winners in game seven to gain a boost ahead of the decider. Nishikori was ready to fight, and he secured a break in the fourth game when Federer landed a forehand wide. Kei forced Roger’s error to open a 4-1 gap and held at love in game seven to remain in front. Serving to stay in the match, the defending champion got broken at 15 a few minutes later to push his opponent into the quarter-final. Thus, Roger failed to reach at least the last four for the first time since the Madrid Masters moved to clay at Caja Magica in 2009.