knocks out Nishikori to meet Federer in semis
Send a link to a friend
[March 18, 2017]
(Reuters) - Jack Sock celebrated
a pair of firsts on Friday by powering past fourth seed Kei
Nishikori 6-3 2-6 6-2 to book a date with Roger Federer in the
semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
Relying on his big serve and blistering forehand, the 17th-seeded
American finally reached a Masters 1000 semi-final in his 28th
appearance and notched his first ever victory against a top-five
opponent in eight attempts.
"I've given everybody their money's worth, a three-setter every
match so far," the 24-year-old Sock said in an on-court interview.
"I feel like I'm playing some great tennis right now."
Sock's stock has been soaring this year, claiming tournament titles
last month at the Delray Beach Open in Florida and at the Auckland
Classic in January.
Eighteen-times grand slam winner Federer advanced to the semi-finals
without lifting a racket as suspected food poisoning forced
Australian Nick Kyrgios to withdraw from their much anticipated
Kyrgios, who beat Novak Djokovic for the second tournament in a row
to reach the last eight, took to twitter about an hour before the
scheduled start of the match against the Australian Open champion to
announce his withdrawal.
"I'm so sorry but I can't play today," he said. "After a restless
night of being sick I have nothing left and to play a great champion
like Roger, I need to be at my best to have a chance.
"I don't take this decision lightly, these are the matches we train
for but I'm in no fit state to take the court."
Sock had no such problems and he hit the mark right at the start of
deciding third set by breaking Nishikori in the opening game as the
world number five struggled to find the range on his usually
[to top of second column]
Jack Sock (USA) celebrates as he defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) in his
quarter final match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells
Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The American earned the important second break
against a battling Nishikori by converting his fifth break point of
a marathon fifth game before going on to serve out victory in one
hour 48 minutes.
"I think he served really well," said Nishikori. "I was having a
really tough time with my return, missing a lot, and giving him a
lot of short balls. And he was attacking really well, first and
"I didn't play my best tennis today, but I think he played good
Sock has lost his two previous matches against Federer, including a
6-3 6-2 decision at Indian Wells in 2015.
"The last time I played him here I didn't really go out on court
thinking I had much of a chance," said Sock. "He's playing some good
tennis, I'm playing some good tennis, so I'm really looking forward
to a battle."
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both and
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten