While top-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan was ousted at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday, No. 2 seed Roger Federer worked through a second-set stumble to reach the quarterfinals.
Nishikori was eliminated 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who earned his first-ever victory over a player in the top 10. Hurkacz broke Nishikori twice in the third set, including to finish off the match in two hours and three minutes.
Federer closed in on his 100th ATP title, needing three sets to take down Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The only other player to win 100 titles in the Open Era was Jimmy Connors, who had 109. It was Federer’s 50th career match victory at Dubai.
Federer will next face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Others advancing to the quarterfinals included No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No. 6 Borna Coric of Croatia, as well as unseeded players Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and Gael Monfils of France.