An all-American rematch of the 2003 Cincinnati final will be the first of Saturday’s semifinals at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, while the second will be a rematch of the 2006 Australian Open final.
In the afternoon semifinal, two-time Cincinnati champion Andy Roddick will take on 2003 finalist Mardy Fish. In the evening semifinal, three-time Cincinnati champion Roger Federer will take on Marcos Baghdatis.
Fish and Roddick will be contesting the first all-American Cincinnati semifinal since Roddick lost to Andre Agassi in 2004. This is the 15th time in the Open Era two Americans have reached the semifinals, and the first time since 2005 (Ginepri and Roddick).
In 2003, Roddick won the first of his two Cincinnati titles, defeating Fish 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(4) after fighting off two Fish match points.
Arguably the most in form player on Tour, Fish has won 15 of his last 16 matches, he has won two titles since Wimbledon (Newport and Atlanta) and has a 21-3 record since June.
At No. 36, Fish is the lowest ranked player in the Cincinnati semifinals since Robby Ginepri in 2005 at No. 58. If he were to reach the final, he'd be the lowest ranked playing in a Cincinnati final since his own runner-up finish in 2003.
Roddick, who earlier this year reached the finals at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami – winning the title at the latter – has battled to the semifinals after trying to shake free from a mild case of mono this summer.
In addition to the 2003 title, Roddick was a winner here in 2006. With a 29-7 record here, Roddick owns the most wins in Cincinnati among active players.
Roddick owns a 9-2 edge all-time against Fish, although Fish won their last encounter in Atlanta last month.
Federer will continue his title defense when he takes on Baghdatis on Saturday. He has won seven straight matches in Cincinnati, and is looking to be the first player to repeat as Cincinnati champion since Andre Agassi in 1995-96.
While Federer has won six of his seven matches against Baghdatis, including in the 2006 Australian Open final, Baghdatis won in their only 2010 meeting 5-7 7-5 7-6(4) at Indian Wells in March.
Baghdatis and Fish are the first two unseeded players to reach the Cincinnati semifinals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2007. This is the first time two unseeded players have reached this round since 2003 when Max Mirnyi and Mardy Fish reached the final four.
This is just the fourth time in the Open Era only two seeds reached the semifinals. Unseeded players are 14-42 all-time in the Cincinnati semifinals, with the last unseeded player to reach the final being Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2006.