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Federer fades at the Sony Open

Despite stellar play heading into the match, Swiss champ couldn't find his rhythm

Updated: March 27, 2014, 9:30 AM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Heading into Wednesday night's Sony Open tennis quarterfinal, this statistic loomed large: While Kei Nishikori was playing in only his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, his opponent was looking for his 50th berth in a Masters semifinal.

That vast edge in experience would seem to suggest a Roger Federer victory, but tennis has a way of consistently delivering these May-October encounters in which the outcome is never certain.

And this one wasn't, not until ...

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