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Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori chasing personal goals as they face off in second consecutive Masters 1000 tournament

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 1 Nov 2018
  • Federer and Nishikori clash for the ninth time in the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Friday
  • The pair are in pursuit of individual milestones this week in Paris
Roger Federer (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori will square off for the second straight ATP Masters 1000 tournament as the pair chase respective individual milestones at the Rolex Paris Masters.

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After clinching his ninth Basel crown and 99th career title last week at the Swiss Indoors, Federer is in pursuit of his 100th piece of tour-level singles silverware in Paris, while Nishikori is attempting to secure qualification into the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London, setting up promises to be an electrifying quarter-final showdown under the lights on Friday night.


Benefitting from a Milos Raonic withdrawal in his scheduled opening match in Paris, Federer booked his spot in the last eight in routine fashion on Thursday, easing past Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 13 minutes, firing down eight aces and saving four out of five break points. Federer has now toppled Fognini in all four of their career meetings without relinquishing a set.

"I think both of us were far from our best, but we fought with what we had and at the end I think I maybe served a bit better in the important moments than Fabio did,” Federer said. 
“Off the baseline, it was tough. He takes the ball early and can really redirect really well. But I’m very happy because it means I’m moving on in the tournament.”
Kei Nishikori (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Federer improves to 45-7 this season as he continues on his quest to win a first ATP Masters 1000 title of 2018 and a second trophy in Paris, following on from his only previous triumph at the tournament in 2011.


The 37-year-old recently-crowned Basel champion brings a seven-match winning steak into his quarter-final clash with Nishikori, who avenged last weekend’s loss in the Vienna final to Kevin Anderson by chopping down the big-serving South African in straight sets in the last match on Thursday night.

Nishikori produced one of his best performances of the season to emerge victorious by a 6-4 6-4 scoreline, with the Japanese star edging closer to locking up a ticket to the ATP Finals in London. Officially, had Nishikori lost, Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic - who are also both quarter-finalists in Paris - would have taken the last two spots, but with Juan Martin del Potro likely to withdraw from the tournament due to a fracture kneecap and John Isner losing in the Round of 16, ninth spot, which Nishikori currently occupies, could be good enough to qualify. Again, officially, Nishikori would need to beat Federer on Friday to keep his London bid alive.

The 28-year-old has won 19 of his last 24 matches on tour, reaching at least the quarter-finals in his last six tournaments. Nishikori and Federer clashed just a few weeks ago at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, with the Swiss prevailing 6-4 7-6(4). Federer has won their last five encounters, with Nishikori’s last win coming back during his career-best 2014 season in Miami.


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Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori chasing personal goals as they face off in second consecutive Masters 1000 tournament

Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori will square off for the second straight ATP Masters 1000 tournament as the pair chase respective individual milestones at the Rolex Paris Masters.

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