Cincinnati - The world's two top-ranked players, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray,
cruised into the quarter-finals of the Western and Southern Open on
Thursday as five-time champion Roger Federer sputtered into the last
Looking to end a run of four runner-up finishes on the Cincinnati
hardcourt, world No 1 Djokovic needed just 50 minutes to hand Belgian
qualifier David Goffin a 6-2 6-0 tennis lesson before handing over
centre court to Federer, 32, and Tommy Haas, 35, the two oldest players
remaining in the draw.
It was an entertaining but far from vintage performance from the two
veterans as a sluggish Federer, the five-time defending champion in
Cincinnati, dropped the opening set to the German before fighting back
for a 1-6 7-5 6-3 win.
World No 2 Murray, a two-time Cincinnati champion, looked right at home
again on the Ohio hardcourts as the Scot steamrolled Frenchman Julien
Benneteau 6-2 6-2 in 69 minutes.
It was a day of sharp contrasting fortunes on centre court as the world's top three players all saw action.
While Federer pulled off a great escape, world No 4 David Ferrer of
Spain was not so fortunate, falling 6-2 6-4 to Russian qualifier Dmitry
"I just held on hoping for Tommy's level to go down a bit or mine to go
up a bit," said Federer, battling to find some form ahead of the US Open
after struggling with back problems. "I was just hanging on, and I'm
happy I did because it paid off."
While Cincinnati has been a happy hunting ground for Federer, it has been a frustrating tournament of near misses for Djokovic.
But if the big Serb is the last man standing on Sunday he would become
the first player to complete what the ATP Tour has dubbed the 'Career
Golden Masters', winning all nine World Tour Masters events.
"I played four times (in the) finals, so it's been one of the
tournaments where I've performed well actually in the last five, six
years," said Djokovic. "Never managed to take final step and hopefully
this year I can do so.
"I have an extra motivation and an opportunity to make history in this
tournament, so I'm very inspired to play well day after day."
Federer and Haas, once among the sport's young guns, are now closer to
becoming tennis senior citizens but they can still deliver the
occasional bit of magic.
The 13th-ranked Haas, looking to return to the top 10 for the first time
in six years, completely dominated Federer in the opening set, twice
breaking the Swiss on way to 1-0 lead.
The evergreen German kept up the pressure in the second, breaking the
17-times grand slam winner at the first opportunity, but Federer would
not go down without a fight, breaking Haas at 7-5 to level the match.
Federer again delivered in the third set when he needed to, ending the
two-hour struggle with a forehand winner, a fist-pump and a look of
In other action, Canadian Milos Raonic, who moved into the top 10 of the
world rankings this week, lost the battle of the big-servers, falling
7-6 (5) 6-4 to American John Isner.
Seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, the 2009 US Open
champion, battled into the quarter-finals with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 win over
Spain's Feliciano Lopez.
Results on Thursday from the ATP and WTA Western and Southern Open (x denotes seed):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt David Goffin (BEL) 6-2, 6-0
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) bt David Ferrer (ESP x3) 6-2, 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x7) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x5) bt Tommy Haas (GER x11) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
John Isner (USA) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x12) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-2, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x4) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP) 6-3, 6-0
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x2) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 6-3, 6-4
Roberta Vinci (ITA x12) bt Sara Errani (ITA x6) 6-4, 6-3
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x14) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
Li Na (CHN x5) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x9) 6-4, 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-0, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-4, 6-1
Simona Halep (ROM) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x11) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x7) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3