Defending champion Roger Federer eliminated Japan's Kei Nishikori with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday night.

Federer, who had won five of their seven previous meetings, came back from 4-1 down in the second-set tie-breaker to close out the match in 1 hour, 51 minutes.

After going down a break in the second set, Nishikori fought his way back to level with the Swiss world No. 2 and force the tie-breaker. Having secured the mini break, world No. 12 Nishikori looked on track to force a third set before surrendering six straight points.

No. 1 seed Federer will face 19th-ranked Croatian Borna Coric in the semifinals.

The Masters were Nishikori's first tournament since finishing runner-up at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo, where he lost in straight sets to Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the final.