The 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro became the first player to advance to the semifinals in singles at the 2012 Western & Southern Open with a win over lucky loser Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.
Del Potro, whose spot in the final four is his best showing at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in three attempts, beat the Frenchman 6-2, 6-3 on Center Court.
About his victory today, del Potro told reporters, "I play really well, much better than yesterday. I feel I get up better than just enough confidence to play this match, and I play really well in the beginning."
Up against the Argentine in the next round is three-time Cincinnati runner-up Novak Djokovic, a winner over the No. 12 seed Marin Cilic in straight sets.
The second-ranked Serb, who claimed the Australian Open title to start the season this year, is bidding to win his second consecutive ATP Tour Masters 1000 event. He took the Toronto title last week.
Djokovic was pleased with his result today. "Yeah, it was best match so far here in this tournament. Came in the right moment, really," he said. "I had the biggest challenge today with Cilic who has been playing well the last couple of months."
The World No. 1 Roger Federer, a four-time champion at Cincinnati, took out Mardy Fish in a rematch of their 2010 final at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The Swiss defeated the American in nearly 90 minutes.
In the next round, the 17-time major titlist will face friend and compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka. He advanced to the semifinals, beating Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
After the win, Wawrinka told reporters, "I'm really happy to be back on the hardcourt [surface]. Since the beginning of the tournament I'm focused on what I'm doing and I'm happy to be in the semifinal here."
Joining the Swiss in victory on Friday are recent London gold medalists, Bob and Mike Bryan, who are playing to add a fourth Cincinnati title to their collection. Like Djokovic, they can win a second straight title this weekend.
The Bryan brothers will face the three-time Wimbledon runners-up Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, who are seeded fourth, in the semis.
The doubles team of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, finalists at Memphis and Zagreb earlier this year, also advanced. They needed just 38 minutes to get to the semifinals by beating Andreas Seppi and Viktor Troicki 6-0, 6-1.
Their next opponents for a spot in the championship match will be the No. 6 seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.