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Nishikori, Kohlschreiber Reach QFs; Raonic Stunned

Halle, Germany

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World No. 12 Kei Nishikori made a strong start to his grass-court campaign on Wednesday in Halle as he reached the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Gael Monfils.

"At the beginning, I was hitting many good serves and hitting a winner off everything almost," said Nishikori. "But in the second set, he started hitting first serves well. I couldn't make more returns and got a little bit tight in my service games. I'm really happy to finish well and win."

The Japanese player bounced back from a first-round exit at Roland Garros as he edged Monfils in 88 minutes. Monfils was coming off a run to the quarter-finals in Paris, where he lost in five sets to Andy Murray.

After reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Madrid last month (l. to Nadal), Nishikori made history as the first Japanese player to break the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. He has a 28-6 match record on the season, winning titles in Memphis (d. Karlovic) and Barcelona (d. Giraldo).

World No. 120 Peter Gojowczyk recorded the biggest win of his career as he stunned No. 9-ranked Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in the second round. The German won 73 per cent of his service points and broke Raonic twice to claim victory in 72 minutes.

"I just love it when somebody serves hard and fast because it serves my return, which actually is my best shot," said Gojowczyk. "[I was] a bit nervous at the beginning because I wasn’t sure whether I will be able to see his serve, but I read it very well."

The 24-year-old Gojowczyk made a breakthrough run to the Doha semi-finals at the start of the season (l. to Nadal). The right-hander went on to qualify into the Australian Open (l. 1st Rd to Hanescu) and won an ATP Challenger Tour title in Heilbronn, but since then had won only two from 12 matches before arriving in Halle. One of those victories had come against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Davis Cup quarter-finals, when he prevailed in an 8-6 decisive set. 

Gojowczyk goes on to face Alejandro Falla, who defeated Robin Haase 7-6(1), 6-4 in 82 minutes.

Philipp Kohlschreiber lost 10 of his service points to beat qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-4 in 62 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals.

Kohlschreiber, the 2011 champion (d. Petzschner), who has won four of his five ATP World Tour titles on German soil, will next meet World No. 1 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or Dustin Brown. The World No. 27 lifted the Dusseldorf Open crown (d. Karlovic) three weeks ago.

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