A powerful group of highly ranked players have advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati.
The top four players in the ATP World Tour rankings are among the quarterfinalists. The average ranking for the remaining eight players is 10.625, which is the fourth lowest in tournament history since the ATP began keeping rankings in 1973.
The first quarterfinal match of the day will feature two of the top three players in the Olympus US Open Series standings in leader and World No. 4 Andy Murray and third place Mardy Fish.
Murray and Fish have split their six career meetings, however Fish has won the previous two meetings during the 2010 season.
Both players have enjoyed very successful summers. Murray was a finalist in Los Angeles and the winner last week in Toronto, while Fish claimed titles in both Newport and Atlanta.
Murray was the 2008 Cincinnati champion, while Fish, who has won 14 of his last 15 matches and is 21-3 since June, was the 2003 runner-up here.
Second on Friday’s schedule is a battle between Andy Roddick and World No. 3 Novak Djokovic.
Roddick has won four of his six career matches against Djokovic, including all three of their 2009 meetings.
Djokovic has reached back-to-back Cincinnati finals, while Roddick is a two-time Cincinnati champion.
The third match Friday afternoon features defending champion Roger Federer, the World No. 2, against World No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko.
Federer, who reached the final last week in Toronto, has reached the quarterfinal without completing a match here this week. After a first round bye, Federer was in the eighth game of his second round match when his opponent, Denis Istomin, retired with an ankle injury. Federer’s Thursday opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber, withdrew before the match began due to a right shoulder injury.
Federer leads the head-to-head against Davydenko 13-2, but the Russian has won two of the last three battles against the Swiss.
The night session will showcase World No. 1 Rafael Nadal taking on Marcos Baghdatis.
Nadal has won all six previous meetings against Baghdatis, although they have met just once since 2007, and Baghdatis did take a set in that meeting last year in Beijing.
Baghdatis, the 2006 finalist at the Australian Open, reached the final earlier this summer in Washington, D.C. while Nadal reached the semifinals last week in Toronto.