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Osaka, Nishikori crash out at Madrid

AFP-JijiMADRID (AFP-Jiji) — Roger Federer saved two match points to defeat Gael Monfils and reach the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday but women’s world No. 1 and top seed Naomi Osaka was dumped out in a last-eight shock.

Federer, playing only his second match of a 2019 comeback to clay after three years away, needed 2 hours to defeat French showman Monfils 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).

Osaka fell for the second time in two months to Federer’s Swiss compatriot Belinda Bencic, exiting 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Bencic also beat the double Grand Slam winner in March at Indian Wells.

Czech second seed Petra Kvitova, the defending champion, was also a shock loser, going down 6-2, 6-3 to Kiki Bertens, the Dutch seventh seed who was runner-up in the 2018 final.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic, however, motored into the last eight as he hammered Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) while five-time champion Rafael Nadal dispatched Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal will next play Stan Wawrinka after the Swiss completed a national hat trick, beating sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

Defending champion Alexander Zverev came from breaks down in both of the last two sets to get past error-prone Pole Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and now plays eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Fernando Verdasco.

Two-time women’s champion Simona Halep overcame Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 7-5 to reach her fourth Madrid semifinal.Speech

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