Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer crashed out of the Cincinnati Masters on Friday, losing 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 to second-seeds Mike and Bob Bryan in the quarter-finals.
Aisam and Rojer had earlier gotten a first-round bye before beating James Blake and Sam Querrey 6-2, 7-4 to move into the quarter-finals.
Serena’s streak ends at 19
Elsewhere, in the women’s play, Angelique Kerber ended the 19-match win streak of Wimbledon and Olympic champion Serena Williams with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
The German fifth-seed double-faulted on one match point but concluded with a winning ace on another to send the second seed out of the event, one that Williams has never won. China’s Li Na reached the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over top-seed Agnieszka Radwanska as the Polish favorite struggled with a shoulder injury.
Williams destroyed a racquet in a fit of anger during the loss but will now have the rest days she has been seeking during her summer of success ahead of the start of the US Open, which begins on August 27.
“I was nervous at the end but I told myself to just keep hitting the ball,” said Kerber. “Serena has been playing well. This was a good win for me and I’m very pleased.”
It was the opposite story for elder Williams sister Venus, who upset defending US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4. The 32-year-old American twice had to serve for victory in the final set, nailing it on her second attempt from 5-4 after 2 1/2 hours.
“It’s always disappointing to lose when you play a good match like that and you think you’ve done enough almost to win,” said Stosur. “Still, I had three really good matches here and can get confidence and gain a bit of momentum going into New York.”
Federer moves closer to title
World number one Roger Federer moved closer to a fifth Cincinnati Masters crown as the Swiss star crushed American Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the semi-finals.
Federer, seeking his sixth title of the year, was in regal form as he beat Fish for the eighth time in nine meetings. The American has lost 17 of 20 sets in the one-sided rivalry.
“I played realy well,” said Federer. “The second set was very competitive, but I was able to maintain a high level for a long time. I’m very pleased with the form and glad to reach the semis.”
US Open champion Novak Djokovic booked a semi-final with Olympic bronze medallist Juan Martin del Potro by beating Marin Cilic. It will be a rematch of the bronze medal match at London.
“The match with Del Potro won’t be for revenge,” said Djokovic. “This is sport. You win and you lose. He is playing with confidence and it will be a big challenge to play him.”
Serb second seed Djokovic took only 80 minutes to dispatch the Croatian 6-3 6-2, improving to 7-0 in their personal series.
“It was a very good match, my best of the tournament,” added Djokovic. “I’m on good form. I may have grown up on clay, but I’ve achieved my best career success on hardcourts.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.