"Tricky player. Good dropshot, good touch", said Nishikori. Sometimes you get in the lead, sometimes you don't. "I often have to pinch myself to believe it but it's been an incredible journey - it has made me tougher as a person and taught me to handle situations", Federer admitted in an interview with Gulf News.
"I think that's because I was able to improve my game. That was an exciting match, to say the least".
The 20-times Grand Slam victor, who is seeking his 100th ATP title, next takes on the victor of the quarter-final between sixth seed Borna Coric and Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.
I'll side with Federer, likely in straight sets.
"But it is so close, you can never underestimate anyone. It was tough with the wind, but it's a challenge and that's why I'm here".
Basilashvili lost just nine points on serve in the opening set, breaking Coric in the third game thanks to a forehand error from the Croat and securing the set with a hold at 15 in game ten after an ace.
Federer explained that Verdasco's variety of serves caused him issues and it took a net-cord victor in the deciding set for him to bring up his first break point, which he crucially converted to go 5-3 up before serving out to love for the match.
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Kyrgios steeled himself to continue, and distractions seemed forgotten as he became absorbed in the battle. Concluding his news conference afterwards, Nadal praised Kyrgios' talent but then questioned his attitude.
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Tsitsipas, 20, survived a mid-match wobble to get past Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-1.
Seventh seeded Juan Ignacio Londero also progressed after dropping just three points on his first serve to triumph 7-6 (3) 6-1 against Paolo Lorenzi.
Tsitsipas had to dig deep to get past Hurkacz, who knocked out top seed Kei Nishikori in the second round, going the distance in the first two sets and being broken when serving for the match, before seeing off the world number 77 after more than two-and-a-quarter hours.
"The key to the first set was the (eight-minute) long (third) game in the first set".
'He played well today, ' Nishikori said. "You also have to remember why you are in such a privileged position, I can't thank enough my fans, my team, the tournament officials - so many of them have touched my life along the way". I had to serve good.
Japan's Kei Nishikori in action during his first round match against Benoit Paire of France.