Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and her partner Peng Shuai of China, the No. 3 seeds, defeated Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching Chan and her partner, Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday.
Hsieh and Peng took just 59 minutes to set up a semi-final with second-seeded Russian duo Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina yesterday, converting three of their five break-point chances, while saving all three breaks against them.
Hsieh and Peng will be hoping to add to their success in the doubles at Wimbledon last month ahead of the US Open which begins in New York in just over a week’s time.
In the men’s singles, Roger Federer put aside his recent struggles with a come-from-behind win over veteran Tommy Haas, booking a place in the quarter-finals.
Federer overcome a slow start to beat Haas 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 and emerge from his string of sub-par showings since Wimbledon.
The fifth seed has been struggling to get his game back in shape since he was upset at Wimbledon by a player ranked 116th in the world. He has switched rackets and been limited by a sore back.
A return to a tournament he has won five times before — including last year — proved a tonic.
“I’m looking at the big picture and just playing matches again,” Federer said. “I want to make sure I’m moving well and feeling fine. A match like this gives me a lot.”
While Federer took a step, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic got one win closer to a little ATP history.
He needed only 50 minutes to beat qualifier David Goffin 6-2, 6-0 and reach the quarter-finals.
Djokovic has lost four finals in Cincinnati, the only Masters series event he has yet to win. A victory would make him the first player to win all nine Masters.
“I played four times finals, so it’s been one of the tournaments where I’ve performed well,” Djokovic said. “Never managed to make the final step and hopefully this year I can do so. I have an extra motivation and an opportunity to make history in this tournament, so I’m very inspired to play well day after day.”
Also reaching the quarter-finals were second seed Andy Murray, sixth seed Tomas Berdych, seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro and Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov, who upset third seed David Ferrer.
Fourth seed Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in a two-hour evening match and was due to face Federer in the quarter-finals yesterday.
Nadal has overcome an injured left knee that wiped out the end of last season and a stomach virus that affected him early this year.
In the women’s singles, second seed Victoria Azarenka, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, fifth seed Li Na and 14th seed Jelena Jankovic advanced to the quarter-finals.
A few hours after her win, Radwanska withdrew from the tournament so she could attend her grandfather’s funeral. Li, who won the tournament last year, automatically moved into the semi-finals.
It appeared that Federer was not long for the tournament after a stunningly bad start against Haas. The 35-year-old Haas needed only 31 minutes to win the first set and was up 4-2 in the second, before Federer started to approach the net, hitting shots with confidence and taking control.
“You know, being down 6-1, 3-1, you don’t feel like Superman out there,” Federer said. “You feel a bit slower, you feel a bit weaker, you feel a bit softer, whatever it is. I was trying to push myself, but at the end, as the match wore on, I felt better. That’s always good news.”
Federer pumped his right fist after a backhand shot hugged the line to set up the break point that put him 5-3 up in the final set and again when he finished the match off — one of his few satisfying moments in months.
Federer was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by Sergiy Stakhovsky, his earliest exit from a Grand Slam event since 2003. That ended Federer’s streak of reaching the quarter-finals in 36 straight majors.
The improbable upsets were just starting.
He then lost to a 114th-ranked qualifier in the semi-finals in Hamburg, Germany, and was beaten by a 55th-ranked player in his opening match in Gstaad, Switzerland.
He skipped Montreal last week to get ready for Cincinnati, hoping a good showing this week would get him ready for the US Open.
“Every match gives me more info to tell me if I’m on the right path or not, but I’m a strong believer that I am on the right path right now and I just need to make sure that mentally I stay cool about it,” Federer said.
“Today for a long time it wasn’t looking good, but these are the kind of matches I need right now,” he added.
Tursunov pulled off the day’s biggest upset, beating Ferrer 6-2, 6-4.
The world No. 44 never lost his serve while reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in six appearances at the event.