MADRID – World No. 8 Kei Nishikori defeated Spanish veteran David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to advance to the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Madrid Open for the fifth straight year.
In a third-round match that was interrupted by rain after the first game of the second set, when the chair umpire ordered the retractable roof to be closed, the Japanese sixth seed showed no signs of having sat out a month and a half due to a right wrist injury.
“I knew I was playing against an opponent I had to be aggressive against from the start,” Nishikori said after denying the 35-year-old Ferrer, ranked 30th in the world, his 700th singles match win.
“I played aggressively and used a lot of forehands. I was able to play with good control over the game. My physical condition is also getting better,” said Nishikori, who is now 9-4 in his career meetings with Ferrer.
He said he still feels some discomfort with his right wrist but that it is improving.
Nishikori will meet No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals. The Serb defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Thursday.