Western & Southern Open: Day 7 Review
The first men’s quarterfinal saw the seventh-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro advance past qualifier Dimitry Tursunov 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Del Potro cruised through the first set after breaking Tursunov’s second service game. Tursunov won the second set on a Del Potro double fault and forehand volley into the net. Del Potro responded by breaking Tursunov in the second game of the third set on his way to a 3-0 lead. Another break gave Del Potro a 5-1 lead, and he clinched the win with an ace at love. Del Potro advances to the semifinals to take on the winner of John Isner v Novak Djokovic.
Cincinnati is the only Masters 1000 tournament Novak Djokovic has yet to win, and it will remain that way for at least another year as John Isner upset the top-ranked Serbian 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4 on Center Court this afternoon. Neither man was able to break the other’s serve in the first set as it went to a tiebreak, in which Isner has an ATP best 30-11 record entering this match. Djokovic was the first to blink in the match, committing a costly double fault to give John Isner a minibreak at 4-3. Isner would serve out the tiebreak at 7-5 with a high kick serve that Djokovic could not control. In the second set, Djokovic would break Isner in the second game which would be the deciding game in the second set as Djokovic leveled the match, 6-3 in the second set. Both men would fight off multiple break points in the second half, but neither could convert until late in the match. Serving at 5-6 to stay in the match, Djokovic double faulted to give Isner a match point, which Isner would convert on a netted Djokovic backhand. John Isner will face Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals on Saturday.
The first match of the night session was the blockbuster showdown everyone anticipated when the draw came out last week, fifth-ranked Roger Federer taking on fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal for the thirty-first time in their rivalry. Late in the first set with a 6-5, 0-15 lead, it seemed as though Nadal would break through and finally break the Federer serve as his powerful southpaw forehand was pushing Federer further and further back. Federer would eventually hold, and break the Nadal serve for the first set with some of the best tennis the Swiss has played all year. Nadal would break Federer in the last game of the second set, prompting Nadal to yell in way that usually only reserved for match clinching celebrations. Nadal would hold serve easily to open the decisive third set and break Federer’s serve, which he would ride out to a 6-3 victory, a score line that does not do justice to the level of play in that set. Nadal played at full capacity for much of the second and third sets, Federer played with the belief that he could beat Nadal, who remains undefeated on hard courts this year.
Sixth-seed Tomas Berdych upset second-seed Andy Murray to 6-3, 6-4 to earn a spot in the semifinals on Saturday against Rafael Nadal.
Top-ranked Serena Williams posted a 6-0, 6-4 victory of Simona Halep, who beat Marion Bartoli and Samantha Stosur to make the quarterfinals. She will face fifth-seed and defending champion Li Na, who received a walkover into the semifinals after Agnieszka Rawanska withdrew to return to Poland to attend her grandfather’s funeral.
Fourteenth-seeded Jelena Jankovic defeated twelfth-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-0, 6-4 to set up a semifinal date with second-seeded Victoria Azarenka who defeated tenth-seeded Caroline Wonziacki 6-3, 7-6(5).