At five-foot-11, he is shorter than most of the best players of his generation.
“On those match points, I was only thinking about where I wanted to hit my serve or how to play the point”.
“I was close in Madrid, but today I was dominating everything”, said Nishikori after getting his first win over Nadal in eight attempts.
“I knew I have to be aggressive, so I have to change some tactics to play against Rafa”.
The victor of 14 career grand slam events has slipped to ninth in the world after an up-and-down year.
Nishikori will next meet Andy Murray in the semi-finals after the Briton defeated defending champ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-4 6-4.
The fourth-seeded Nishikori earned his ATP-Tour leading 27th hardcourt win of the year in the second-round match, which was delayed almost 90 minutes by rain.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal continues his form struggle which saw him win only two titles this year, the Argentina Open and the Mercedes Cup. The Japanese’s lone victory came at the season finale in London past year.
“A lot of the crowd stayed and that really helped me get motivated”, said the Scot. “They created a good atmosphere out there and I appreciate everyone staying”.
“I definitely feel more positive today”.
Murray fired 24 winners, benefiting from 28 unforced errors by Tsonga. He claimed only two of four break opportunities, while surviving all three that he faced.
After the proper arrangements made to dey up the land, Nadal jumped into the field and won the first set in a tiebreaker, sweeping the second to reach the third round and a date with Mikhail Youzhny, who beat French ninth seed Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-4.
A victory in Montreal would be his record-tying fifth Masters Series title of the year, equaling his own mark in 2011 and Nadal’s from 2013.
“If you start to think about match points or break points, you start to be nervous”, Chardy said.
“I won in Hamburg a couple weeks ago and this was an important victory here”, he said. Saturday’s first semi-final match will pit Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against France’s Jeremy Chardy, both of whom saved multiple match points en route to winning their quarter-final matches on Friday over Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis and American John Isner, respectively.