By Erwin Ong
CINCINNATI – It was another cool day on on the grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center, which plays host to the Western & Southern Open. The combined men’s and women’s event, one of the final stops in the Emirates U.S. Open Series, featured Round of 16 action, including a highly anticipated match up between Roger Federer and Tommy Haas, among others.
The day session opened with 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro playing in front of a packed Grandstand. The seventh seed, from Argentina, faced the lefty game of Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. "I found a way to beat him at the end of the match," said Del Potro after overcoming Lopez’ lefty game of slices and drop shots. "I’m glad to go through."
Del Potro, who won that match 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, will face Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov in the quarterfinals. Tursunov scored the day’s biggest upset so far with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of third seed David Ferrer. "[Tursunov] is playing well, is very dangerous and plays really fast from the baseline," said Del Potro about Tursunov. "I have to serve better than today and play harder than him."
Novak Djokovic logged a routine win over qualifier David Goffin, from Belgium, with a 6-2, 6-0 victory. He will face John Isner in the quarterfinals. Isner, who has had an excellent summer on the North American hard courts, upset 12th seed Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 6-4.
In the women’s draw, doubles partners Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani faced each other in singles, with Vinci the winner in straight sets. As the No. 1 seeds in doubles, they team up later today to play Julia Goerges and Barbara Zahlavova-Strycova.
Victoria Azarenka is through to the quarterfinals after her win against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, and will play the winner of the battle between Petra Kvitova and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. Azarenka, the No. 2 seed, struggled with her serve against Rybarikova. "It was my mistake that I didn't fully commit sometimes, didn't take my chances."
The evening’s matches will feature Rafael Nadal against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, and Serena Williams will play Mona Barthel. On Grandstand, Samantha Stosur faces Simona Halep – the Romanian who defeated Marion Bartoli in the Frenchwoman’s final career match.