Between 2009-12, Roger Federer was among the players to beat at Madrid’s Caja Magica, winning two titles and playing in another final and the semi-final. The Swiss ended a good run in 2013, though, dethroned by Kei Nishikori in the third round following a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 loss in an hour and 35 minutes. It was their second meeting and the first victory for Kei, who left the second set behind him and started all over in the decider to cross the finish line first despite winning seven points less than Roger. The Swiss played better on both the first and second serve, but it wasn’t enough to carry him home, wasting five out of seven break chances and suffering three breaks to propel the rival over the top and lose a chance to fight for another Madrid crown. Federer had more winners and more forced mistakes, with around the same number of unforced errors on their tallies.
Roger Federer lost to Kei Nishikori in the third round in Madrid 2013.
They were neck and neck in the more extended rallies, with Roger forging the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, although it wasn’t enough to secure the win. The Swiss held at love in games one and three, but Kei was there to fight, firing a forehand winner at 2-2 to grab a break and move in front. The Japanese confirmed the advantage with another forehand winner and held at 15 in game ten to take the opener 6-4 in half an hour. Kei saved two break chances in the second set’s second game with winners before Federer converted the fourth in game four to open the lead and move 4-1 in front after two winners on his serve at deuce.
Federer grabbed another break with momentum on his side and closed the set with four winners in game seven, gaining a boost ahead of the decider. Nishikori secured a break in the fourth game when Federer landed a forehand wide, forced Roger’s error to open a 4-1 gap and held at love in game seven to remain in front. Serving to stay in the match, Federer got broken at 15 a few minutes later, pushing his opponent into the quarters and failing to reach at least the last four in Madrid for the first time since the event moved to clay at Caja Magica in 2009.