JACK Sock powered past fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-3 2-6 6-2 on Friday to book a date with Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
The 17th-seeded American, already a two-time winner on the tour this year, relied on his big serve and blistering forehand to defeat world number five Nishikori.
Eighteen-times grand slam winner Federer advanced to the semi-finals without lifting a racket as suspected food poisoning forced Australian Nick Kyrgios to withdraw from their much anticipated quarter-final.
Sock, meanwhile, registered a pair of firsts with his quarter-final conquest of Japan’s Nishikori.
It marked the first time the American had reached a Masters 1000 semi-final in his 28th appearance, and the victory was also his first ever against a top-five opponent after seven previous losses.
The 24-year-old Sock, ranked 18th, won the Delray Beach Open in February and claimed the title at the ASB Classic in Auckland the month before.
Australian Kyrgios, meanwhile, took to twitter about an hour before the scheduled start time of his match against Federer to announce his withdrawal.
“I’m so sorry but I can’t play today,” he said. “After a restless night of being sick I have nothing left and to play a great champion like Roger, I need to be at my best to have a chance.
“I don’t take this decision lightly, these are the matches we train for but I’m in no fit state to take the court.” --REUTERS