More on the match with quotes from the players:
Nishikori reaches Chennai Open quarters
AFP, Jan 6, 2011, 10.09pm IST
CHENNAI: Japan's rising star Kei Nishikori won nine games in a row against Alejandro Falla on his way to the quarterfinals of the $450,000 ATP Chennai Open on Thursday.
The 21-year-old Nishikori, who stunned two-time defending champion Marin Cilic in the first round, lost the first set but fought back to beat the Colombian 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes.
Nishikori appeared to be heading out of the tournament when Falla, playing a superb baseline game, took the first set in 44 minutes and worked up a 3-0 lead in the second.
But the Japanese, ranked number 98 to his rival's 105, swung the match around by winning the next nine games, giving him not only the second set but also a 3-0 lead in the decider.
Falla, who grew increasing frustrated in the Chennai heat, managed to win just two more games as Nishikori raced to a thrilling victory.
"I always seem to start slowly and that is something I must change quickly," said Nishikori. "I got lucky today but I don't think that will happen every time.
"It was good I came back well and won the second set. Two wins out of two is a good start for me."
Nishikori next plays sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia for a place in the semifinals of the season-opening event.
Tipsarevic, a semifinalist in Chennai in 2009, brushed aside Alexandre Kudryavtsev of Russia 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in an hour and 22 minutes.
"I am feeling good, fit and fresh despite the humidity," world number 49 Tipsarevic said.
"Nishikori is a very good player, but I am ready. It will be a baseline game against him."
Tipsarevic said Serbia's victory in the Davis Cup final against France last month gave him added incentive to do well in the new season.
"My confidence these days has a lot to do with our Davis Cup win," he said. "It was billed as a world championship by my country and to come out it victorious was unbelievable."
Tipsarevic lost the opening singles in the Cup final to Gael Monfils and was dropped for the deciding reverse singles with the tie level at 2-2.
His replacement, Viktor Troicki, beat Michael Llodra in straight sets to clinch his nation's memorable win.
Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands fought back after a shaky start to defeat Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita in three sets.
The 60th-ranked Haase lost the first set 4-6, before winning the next two 6-3, 6-4 against the number 180 Sugita.