The Brisbane International field has been cut down to four men, including the top three seeds. Quarterfinal action took place on Friday with a bunch of tight matches between seeded players. The semifinal matchups are now set, so let’s take a look at what happened on quarterfinal Friday in Brisbane.
The big match of the day pitted top seed and defending champion Milos Raonic against fifth seed Rafael Nadal. A grinding baseline affair saw Nadal take the early lead, claiming the opening set and hold break points early in the second. The Spaniard could not take advantage and Raonic turned the tables, roaring back to win the match in three tight sets. Check out the full recap here.
In the semifinals, Raonic will meet seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov, who pulled the lone upset of the day by taking out fourth seed Dominic Thiem in three sets. Dimitrov came out ahead after a wild start where he had to save two break points in the opening game before converting his second break point in the second game for a 2-0 lead. He would hold on to take the opening set, despite saving three more break points. Thiem would continue piling the pressure on his opponent in the second set and was finally rewarded for his persistence in the tenth game, converting his seventh break point of the set (and 12th overall) to send the match to a decider. His comeback would fall short, as Dimitrov reclaimed the initiative in the final set, breaking twice to reach his third Brisbane semifinal in five years.
Second seed Stan Wawrinka was given everything he could handle by Kyle Edmund in their quarterfinal clash, but the Swiss was able to comeback after dropping the opening set in a tiebreak to advance in three sets. Wawrinka was broken late in the first set, but broke back as Edmund tried to serve out the set. The second seed was only delaying the inevitable, as his serve was shredded in the tiebreak. Wawrinka buckled down and claimed the lone break of the second set and then took control when he broke to start the third. He added an insurance break to stretch the lead to 5-2, which put the match out of reach as Edmund only managed to reclaim one break before dropping the decision 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4.
While his fellow seeds were given serious tests, Kei Nishikori cruised into the semifinals of Brisbane with the loss of only two games in his quarterfinal. The third seed blew out Jordan Thompson, the last Aussie standing, 6-1, 6-1. Nishikori was in control right from the start, breaking in the opening game of the match and adding two more breaks in the 32-minute opener. The Japanese only managed two breaks in the second set, but was a minute faster as he raced into the semifinals by winning the second set in 31 minutes.