Cincinnati: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Andy Murray crashed out of the Western and Southern Open within an hour of each other on Friday, before Rafael Nadal restored order with a win over old rival Roger Federer.
With the sprawling Lindner Family Tennis Center still buzzing over John Isner’s 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5 quarter final upset of Djokovic, another bombshell dropped on the nearby grandstand court as Tomas Berdych swept past US Open champion Murray 6-3, 6-4, creating shockwaves that will carry through to Flushing Meadows.
The upsets of two of the Grand Slam’s biggest favourites have thrown the tournament wide open and added new contenders to the usual suspects.
But world No. 3 Nadal underlined his claims by taming Swiss arch-rival and five-times Cincinnati champion Federer 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Federer and Nadal, meeting for the 31st time in their storied careers, treated the packed centre court to high-quality tennis that had some convinced that the Swiss maestro and the muscular Spaniardwere still the two top players in the world.
While the rankings say otherwise, there has been little better tennis seen on centre court this week, and the pair proved they are still capable of bringing out the best in each other.
Eighth seeded Indo-French team eked out a 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-8 win over the fourth seeded Indo-Czech combination.
Bopanna is now seeking his second consecutive Cincinnati final when he and Roger-Vasselin face the Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.