• ATP Western & Southern Open

Murray and Djokovic beaten in Cincinnati

ESPN staff
August 16, 2013
Andy Murray was far from his best against Tomas Berdych © PA Photos

The top two players in the world Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are out of the Western & Southern Open after losing their quarter-final encounters to John Isner and Tomas Berdych respectively.

World No. 1 Djokovic crashed out in a final set to Isner, while Wimbledon and US Open champion Murray was far from his best in a 6-3 6-4 loss to Berdych.

Murray was made to do all the running as Berdych was intent on getting the break. After thwarting Berdych twice to do so in the fifth game, Murray made it 2-2.

Down 4-3 but still on serve, Murray was unable to prevent Berdych from getting the break, and soon the first set disappeared with Berdych taking it 6-3.

Frustrated with the chair umpire and a couple of line calls, Murray could not use his anger to his advantage as a composed Berdych broke in the third game of the second set to lead 2-1, and despite having a few glimpses to get the break back, Berdych held on to take the win and book his place in the semi-finals.

It was a disappointing match for Murray with the defence of his US Open crown beginning in less than two weeks' time, and the British No. 1 has not looked as sharp on the hard courts as he was at the start of the grass court campaign - where he won Queen's and triumphed at Wimbledon.

Djokovic meanwhile was aiming to become the first man to win all nine Masters 1000 events, but came up against an inspired Isner and was dumped out of the competition, losing 7-6(5) 3-6 7-5 in a thrilling quarter-final encounter.

Djokovic rarely had to climb out of first gear in his last-16 victory over David Goffin on Thursday, but knew he was going to be in for a tough time against big-serving Isner in the last-eight.

And so it proved to be, with both players matching one another in the opening set, and with nothing to separate the pair a tiebreak was required to decide who would take the lead.

For Isner, it was imperative he took it, because if Djokovic clinched it he would more than likely take the win.

Novak Djokovic will not be making history at the end of the week © Getty Images

After the first six points were shared in the tiebreak, it was Isner who claimed the mini-break when Djokovic double faulted, and on his third set point Isner gained the initiative to move in front.

Djokovic responded well in the second set as the true champion he is, racing to a 4-1 lead.

The gap was reduced to two games at 5-3, but Djokovic after fending off four break points in the first game of the second set took it 6-3 to level the match and force a decider.

Isner kept his nose in front throughout the final set by serving first, and the pressure was on Djokovic to keep up with the American.

However, from looking as though he was going to send the quarter-final encounter into another tiebreak, instead from 40-15 up Djokovic crumbled to allow Isner on his second match point to seal a famous win in front of a raucous home crowd.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro was taken to a third set once again, but recovered from losing the second to beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 3-6 6-1, and will now face Isner in the semi-finals, the man he beat in the final to win the title in Washington less than a fortnight ago.

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