CINCINNATI: Tommy Robredo shocked world number one Novak Djokovic Thursday at the Cincinnati Masters as Roger Federer avoided an upset against Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Spain’s Robredo, seeded 16th in the US Open tune-up, sent top-seeded Djokovic packing 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, the defeat coming a week after the world number one Serb was beaten in the third round at Toronto.
The Wimbledon champion now goes into the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year which starts on August 25, well short of matches and confidence.
Second-seeded Federer, a five-time Cincinnati champion, held off Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
He booked a tough quarter-final against eighth-seeded Scot Andy Murray, who battled more than two hours against the huge serve of John Isner, finally dispatching the American 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Federer had a rare show of temper late in the match, arguing with the chair umpire over a decision not to call on electronic line-calling on a particular point.
But Federer quickly recovered his poise, clinching the match with a service winner after breaking Monfils in the penultimate game. “I’m just happy the way I’m playing right now,” said Federer. “It was much better than the last couple of matches.
“I was hitting good forehands, not making so many mistakes, returning better,” he added. “So there was a lot of positives out in the match. Sometimes I was frustrated, but that’s what Gael does to you.”
Djokovic said it wasn’t a question of the new elements in his life weighing on his tennis.
“I just lost the match,” he said. “It was bad. Many things are not clicking these two weeks on hardcourts. It’s unfortunate, but it’s more than obvious I’m not playing even close to what I’m supposed to play.”
In women’s action in the combined ATP and WTA event, defending champion Serena Williams continued her march through the draw, beating Italian 13th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2. Serena next plays eighth seed Jelena Jankovic. And Maria Sharapova beat fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) to set up a clash with Simona Halep.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2014.
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