Kevin Anderson upset top seed Dominic Thiem while second seed Kei Nishikori won a battle of past champions Thursday to advance at the ATP Citi Open.
Anderson trumps Thiem in Washington
Anderson endured a three-hour rain delay and saved a match point before firing his 21st ace to finish off seventh-ranked Thiem 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (9/7) after two hours and 46 minutes and reach the Washington hardcourt quarter finals. “He broke me a couple of times in the third set and I made a couple big serves. I did a great job of making first serves and I was able to come back”, he told reporters.
Thiem, in his first hardcourt tune-up for the US Open, fell to 0-6 lifetime against Anderson, all on hardcourts, but managed to swipe a set from his 45th-ranked nemesis for only the second time in his career. “I don't like to play big servers in general. What can I do? The draw was not great with him in the second round”, said Thiem. 'It's one of those bad losses. It can't go my way all the time. It isn't easy to make this change (to hardcourt) after a long break".
Nishikori, the 2015 Washington winner, beat three-time champion Juan Martín Del Potro 6-4, 7-5, for only his second victory in seven matches against the Argentine 13th seed. “We both missed a little bit in the first set, but second set, I played great”, he said after today’s win.
Nishikori sets up meeting with Paul
It was the second early morning finish in as many matches for Nishikori, who faces US wildcard Tommy Paul in the next round. “It's a bit crazy,' Nishikori said of the schedule. It's not easy to recover well. It's a late match tomorrow so I'll be ready”.
Elsewhere, Russia's Daniil Medvedev upset Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2, to reach a last-match matchup with Germany's eighth-ranked Alexander Zverev, who beat Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 7-5 just before 2 a.m. after killing time with a nap and video games.
Canadian third seed Milos Raonic, the 2014 Washington champion, defeated Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 to book a Friday quarter-final against US eighth seed Jack Sock, who downed fellow countryman Jared Donaldson 7-6 (8/6), 6-2.