VIENNA (Reuters) - Top seed Dominic Thiem's dream of a home win in the Vienna Open ended on Friday when he lost in the quarter-finals to Kei Nishikori.
Thiem, hoping to become the third Austrian to win the tournament in its 45-year history, went down 6-3 6-1 to the fifth-seeded Nishikori who produced one of his best performances of the year.
The world number eight never recovered from losing the first five games in only 20 minutes.
"He simply was the better player today", said Thiem. "Some things which are important for my game didn’t work out as they do usually."
Nishikori's semi-final opponents will be qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin, who beat Marton Fucsovics in a match lasting three hours and 19 minutes and featuring two tiebreaks.
"I still can’t believe that I made it,” he said after a 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4) win. "That was a crazy match, so emotional."
Second seed Kevin Anderson also progressed to the last four after his opponent Borna Coric retired injured early in the second set. There were no immediate details about the injury.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Lovell)