All top five seeds led by the three time champion Novak Djokovic have advanced to the quarter finals as expected on Thursday. He leads Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych among the top five seeds in a field depleted by the absence of former champion Roger Federer and the defending champion Andy Murray.
The Washington winner Gael Monfils won his eighth consecutive match as he caused a minor upset beating David Goffin of Belgium. The struggling duo of South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and the Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov too came through against the Australian Bernard Tomic and the Croat Ivo Karlovic respectively.
The top seeded Djokovic survived a mini scare in the second set against the 37 year Radek Stepanek, the oldest player in the draw before winning 6-2, 6-4 to set up a meeting with another Czech Tomas Berdych. Djokovic has a 24-2 record against Berdych who beat the American qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4. Berdych had a match point on Harrison’s serve in the twelfth game of the second set.
There were straight set wins for Wawrinka, Nishikori and Raonic against American opposition. The second seeded Swiss beat Jack Sock 7-6(3), 6-2. Nishikori beat Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-4, while the Wimbledon finalist Raonic put out Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-3. Dmitrov too won in two sets against the in form Karlovic 6-3, 7-5.
Monfils and Anderson took three sets to advance. The Frenchman survived a tough three setter 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4 battle against seventh seeded Goffin, while Anderson prevailed over the lone remaining Australian, Tomic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The following is the line up for the quarter-finals with my pick mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Tomas Berdych (5); Djokovic leads 24-2,
Milos Raonic (4) v. Gael Monfils (10); tied 2-2
Kei Nishikori (3) v. Grigor Dmitrov; Nishikori leads 2-0,
Stanislas Wawrinka (2) v. Kevin Anderson; tied at 4-4.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]