Sixteen-time Grand Slam tournament winner Roger Federer defeated ’02 doubles champion James Blake, who partnered Todd Martin for the victory, in a rematch of their ’07 singles final 6-4, 6- 1 to a packed Center Court on Thursday night play.
Federer, who’s won the Cincinnati title four times, next faces the No. 8 seed Tomas Berdych, a winner over Nicolas Almagro earlier in the day.
Former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in front of an equally filled Grandstand. The Serbian fell to the ground in relief after a Schiavone shot sailed long, receiving a standing ovation to cap off the close victory.
Jankovic, a Cincinnati champion in ’09, now meets World No. 15 Shuai Peng in the quarterfinals.
Gael Monfils, a finalist at the Olympus US Open Series stop in Washington, also came out a winner on Thursday night. He defeated Germany’s Philipp Kohlschrieber 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, 11-time Grand Slam tournament champions Bob and Mike Bryan advanced over Lukas Dlouhy and Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 4-6, 10-1. The three-time Cincinnati champions now play the Polish pair Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in the quarterfinals.
Finalists at the Australian Open earlier this year and the 2001 Cincinnati titlists Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes defeated Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez 6-4, 6-2. Hours earlier, Nadal took out Fernando Verdasco in a three hour and 38 minute marathon, the ATP’s longest three-set match of the year.
American’s Steve Johnson, the NCAA champion in 2011 from the University of Southern California, and 2011 Atlanta doubles winner Alex Bogomolov Jr. scored an upset over 2011 French Open titlists Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 7-5, 6-7(6) 10-7.
In women’s doubles, the 2011 Wimbledon champions Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik defeated Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2. The Word No. 1s have also collected Tour titles in Auckland, Doha and Eastbourne this year.
They will next meet Budapest finalists Natalie Grandin and Vladmira Uhlirova, who took out the No. 4 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova in the third round 7-5, 5-7, 10-2.
The No. 3 seeds Vania King and Yarsoslava Shvedova, who won the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open titles, were also in action on Center Court. They defeated Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 7-6(5), 6-4.
By Benjamin Snyder