Two ‘big-guns’ go down in defeat on the same day in Cinci.


Roger Federer and number two seed Rafael Nadal both crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, while world number one Novak Djokovic had to come from behind to beat Gael Monfils. Federer, a four-time champion and unbeaten at the tournament since 2008, slumped to a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) defeat to eighth seed Tomas Berdych in a match lasting just over 90 minutes. The defeat was a significant blow to Federer’s US Open preparations, and came against an opponent whom he had beaten in nine of 12 previous meetings, though to whom he lost in last year’s Wimbledon semi-final. Federer was not able to fashion a single break point opportunity on the booming Berdych serve, and was broken twice himself in the first set. Berdych held firm in the second before skating through the tie-break.

Berdych will play Djokovic in the semi-final after seeing off Monfils in three sets. Djokovic surrendered the first set 3-6 but took the next two 6-4 and 6-3 to progress.

Nadal was beaten 6-3 6-4 by improving American Mardy Fish, aiming to reach his second straight Cincinnati final, who sent down 10 aces en route to what was his first win over the Spaniard. Nadal, who had come through a marathon battle with Fernando Verdasco in the previous round, was playing with two fingers heavily bandaged after a freak accident in a restaurant. Fish will next face fourth seed Andy Murray, who avoided the travails of his two big-name rivals as he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon. Murray broke the Frenchman four times to reach the last four.




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