Top-ranked American Mardy Fish defeated World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 for the first time in his career to advance to the Western & Southern Open semifinals. Last year’s Cincinnati runner-up Fish next faces 2011 Australian Open finalist Andy Murray.
Playing in front of a packed Center Court, Fish hit 32 winners to Nadal’s 10 en route to the victory. The American completed the match to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the audience.
Ranked a career-high World No. 7, Fish clinched the Olympus US Open Series. Previously during the summer, the Minnesota–native won the title in Atlanta, while finishing as the runner-up in Los Angeles and Montreal.
His upcoming opponent, World No. 4 Murray, defeated France’s Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-3 earlier in the day to set-up a rematch of last year’s Cincinnati quarterfinal, which Fish won 6-7(7), 6-1, 7-6(5). The American leads the Scot 4-3 in their career head-to-head, including claiming three victories last year.
World No. 2 Vera Zvonareva defeated Daniela Hantuchova in her quarterfinal match on the Grandstand. She now faces Maria Sharapova, the Cincinnati runner-up last year, in an all-Russian semifinal. Zvonareva, who won here in '06 and made the '04 final, holds the most wins for women at the tournament with 14 victories and just five losses.
With Zvonareva and Sharapova into the semifinals, there will be a Russian finalist in Cincinnati for the 7th time in eight years.
By Benjamin Snyder