“He’s still not maybe 100%, but he’s Rafa.”

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Kei Nishikori (Photo: Getty Images)

For the first time in his career, Kei Nishikori had the better of Rafael Nadal, and he did it in style, with a commanding 6-2, 6-4 triumph in 1h22, a win which makes him reach the Coupe Rogers semifinals for the first time in his career.

After the match, despite his visible fatigue (it was, after all, nearly midnight when he met the press), the Japanese was very happy and smiley, content with the day’s victory.

“Everything was working well”, he declared. “So [I’m] very happy today. [It took a] long time [to finally beat him]. I didn’t really like to play against him. But these couple matches, I had chances, especially Australia and Madrid. I lost last year, but I was close. Today I was almost dominating everything, so very happy with the way I’m playing. I knew I have to be tough at the baseline to beat Rafa. I was trying to step in little more. Cross-court was one of the good shot I had today.”

Does he think that Nadal is not the same player anymore? Not really: “I mean, he’s still not maybe 100%, but he’s Rafa. I never beat him before, so I knew I have play 100% to beat Rafa.”

 





 

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