Roger Federer survives another blip in Dubai, but Kei Nishikori falls

Roger Federer in action

Second seed Roger Federer once again required three sets to advance at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, this time against Fernando Verdasco.

After going the distance against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday, seven-time champion Federer again had to work for his win as he beat the Spaniard 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to notch up his 50th win in Dubai.

It also meant he kept his unbeaten record against Verdasco as he now leads their head-to-head 7-0.

Federer, who will face Marton Fucsovics in the quarter-final, broke once in the first set and Verdasco returned the favour in set two before the Swiss claimed the crucial break in game eight of the decider.

Top seed Kei Nishikori crashed to a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 defeat at the hands of world No 77 Hubert Hurkacz.

“I didn’t play perfect today, but I think he was playing good serves, better than I thought,” Nishikori said.

“With this wind and this surface, it’s not easy. I didn’t serve well when I wanted to.

“He played well in the important games, I didn’t make many first serves when I wanted to… that cost me some important points.”

Next up for Pole Hurkacz is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek beat Egor Gerasimov 6-3, 6-1.

Rotterdam Open champion Gael Monfils, who beat third seed Marin Cilic in the first round, continued his excellent form as he secured a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marcos Baghdatis to earn a quarter-final date against Ricardas Berankis, who was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Denis Kudla.

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