MASON, Ohio (AP) - Spraying balls all over the place, an erratic
Rafael Nadal was upset by unseeded Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters on Friday night.
The top-ranked and top-seeded Nadal committed 30 unforced errors
in the first two sets and double-faulted on break point in the
ninth game of the third set, allowing the 20th-ranked Cypriot to
serve for the match. He clinched his first win in seven matches
against Nadal when the Spaniard fired a forehand into the net for
his 35th unforced error of the match.
Baghdatis finished with 18 aces to Nadal's four and committed
only 22 unforced errors.
Earlier Friday, fourth-seeded Andy Murray, playing his eighth
afternoon match in 10 days, lost to unseeded Mardy Fish 6-7 (7),
6-1, 7-6 (5) in a match that lasted 2 hours, 56 minutes - the
tournament's longest - on a court where the temperature reached an
even 100 degrees.
Fish will meet Andy Roddick in the tournament's first
all-American semifinal since Roddick lost 7-5, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (2) to
Andre Agassi in 2004. The ninth-seeded Roddick eliminated No. 2
Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 on Friday.
Defending-champion Roger Federer finally played a full match at
the $2.4 million Western & Southern Financial Group Masters,
knocking off sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 7-5. The
third-seeded Federer, a three-time champion, played just seven
games in his first match before Denis Istomin retired with an ankle
injury. His next opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber, withdrew with a
shoulder injury before their round of 16 match.
The 23-year-old Murray was exhausted but the Scot had enough
left in the tank to force two tiebreakers, but not enough to finish
"In the third set, I wasn't really using my legs at all on my
serve," said Murray, who needed cooling treatment, including
rubdowns on both legs, during many changeovers. "It was all arm.
Every time there was a long point, I felt tired for two or three
points afterward. When you get to the end of the match, you just
try to finish as best you can."
Murray asked tournament officials after his match on Thursday if
he could play Friday's night match. He even volunteered to play on
a secondary court. Instead, he and Fish were scheduled to play the
"They said that, because Fish had to play doubles, they wanted
us to play early, but I'm not sure that's the way tennis works,"
Murray said. "I don't think matches should be scheduled around the
doubles, because it's the singles that's on the TV."
Fish had little sympathy for Murray, suggesting that those
circumstances usually even out.
"I usually like to play the first-up match, because you know
exactly when you're going on," he said. "I'm sure there have been
times when (Murray) was playing the night match and would like to
be done and go to dinner. I can understand where he's coming from,
but what can you do? It was bad luck for him today.
"Physically, it was hot, but nowhere near the humidity of, say,
D.C. or Atlanta. It was every bit as hot as there. It feels great
to win a match like that."
Murray admitted that he considered retiring from the match.
"It does cross your mind a little bit when you're struggling
like that, but the doctor and the physio did a good job with the
ice and cooling me down a little bit," he said.
Murray took a 4-2 lead in the second tiebreaker. Fish, a 2003
finalist, then won four straight points, the last when Murray sent
a forehand passing shot wide and followed it by slamming a ball out
of the stadium in frustration.
The 36th-ranked Fish clinched the upset - his third consecutive
win over Murray, all this year - when the Scot smacked a forehand
into the net. The American is the first unseeded player to reach
the Cincinnati semifinals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2007 and the
lowest-ranked player to get there since No. 58 Robby Ginepri in
"It could easily be 1-2," said Fish, now 4-3 in his career
against Murray. "I've won two tiebreakers in the third (set). I've
had a lot of trouble with him. He serves so well and returns so
well that he usually gives aggressive players like me a lot of
Fish, playing more aggressively than Murray, finished with 14
aces, 50 winners and 34 unforced errors. Murray had eight aces, 30
winners and 24 unforced errors.
Djokovic also was aggressive, hitting 28 winners to Roddick's
15, but the Serb also committed 29 unforced errors to Roddick's 15
while losing for the fourth straight time in their head-to-head
"I just played a very bad match," Djokovic said. "Every time
I needed to play well, I made mistakes, especially on my forehand
side. He was getting a lot of balls back - not doing anything
special, just making me play extra shots."
The 13th-ranked American couldn't argue.
"Novak probably didn't play his best match," Roddick said.
"He was missing balls he normally wouldn't miss. I probably would
expect him to play a little better."
Federer squandered two match points in the 10th game of the
second set and another in the 12th before moving into the
semifinals. He was happy to finally have gotten on to the court.
"It was a bit scary," he said. "You're wondering, 'Do I have
enough play on these courts?' It was sort of a relief. That was a
tough match for me, but I felt like I played really good,
especially since I hadn't played. I tried to play offensively and
mix it up - make it hard for him to get some rhythm."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)