Some of the big name players used Friday to dispatch littler known opponents to solidify berths into the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals, but Serena Williams was not one of them.
Williams played a shocker, losing to Germany’s Angelique Kerber in straight sets, 6-4 6-4. Her frustrations were evident; Williams smashed her racquet angrily into the court twice during the second set.
Her sister Venus Williams, a wildcard entrant, was far better in knocking out third seed Aussie Sam Stosur.
The former world no.1 gutted her way out to a 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 victory that needed over two and a half hours to complete. It wasn’t always pretty, Venus amassed nine double faults, but eventually pulled through.
It was the American who dominated the first set before Stosur took the second in a thrilling tie-breaker. William’s semi-final appearance will be her first in almost two years- her last came in the 2010 US Open before an autoimmune disease placed her on the side lines for an extended break.
Novak Djokovic will play in his second Masters semi-final in just a week after he knocked over Marin Cilic 6-3 6-2.
Djokovic won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week, but looked rested on Friday after his quarter-finals opponent, Nikolay Davydenko, was forced to withdraw 30 minutes into their matchup. He played a brilliant defensive game while hitting seven aces.
Djokovic’s opponent will be Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine defeated French surprise Jeremy Chardy easily, 6-1 6-3, during the morning session to notch his semi-final appearance.
Del Potro is good form heading into the US Open, a tournament he captured in 2009, but he left Friday’s match with some concern regarding a sore left wrist, not the same one that cause him to miss much of the 2010 season.
Djokovic and del Potro met very recently- the paired played off in London where the Argentine won a broze medal over the former world No.1.