Dubai Tennis Championships: Defending champion Bautista Agut and Nishikori bow out

Roger Federer stayed in contention for a 100th ATP singles title in Dubai, but Roberto Bautista Agut and Kei Nishikori crashed out.

World number six Kei Nishikori   -  Getty Images

Defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut was dumped out of the Dubai Tennis Championships by Nikoloz Basilashvili and Kei Nishikori suffered a surprise defeat, but Roger Federer moved into the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Basilashvili will face Borna Coric — who defeated Tomas Berdych — in the last eight after coming from a set down to beat Spaniard Bautista Agut 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-3.

The unseeded Georgian blasted down 19 aces and won 81 per cent of points on his first serve, with four breaks of serve seeing him through.

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Nishikori suffered only his third defeat of the season as World No. 77 Hubert Hurkacz consigned him to a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 loss.

The Polish outsider's victory was his first against a top-10 opponent and he did it the hard way, losing the second set after levelling from 4-0 down before dominating the decider.

RELATED | Federer pleased to overcome struggles to make Dubai quarters

Federer stayed in the hunt for his 100th ATP singles title, Fernando Verdasco taking the 20-time grand slam champion to three sets for the second time this week before suffering a 6-3 3-6 6-3 loss.

The legendary second seed - who has won all seven of his matches against Verdasco — will now face Hungary's Marton Fucsovics, a 6-4 6-2 winner against Jan-Lennard Struff, following his 50th victory in Dubai.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Gael Monfils - both eyeing back-to-back titles - advanced at the expense of Egor Gerasimov and Marcos Baghdatis respectively.

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