Federer exits, Djokovic advances in Cincinnati Masters
Cincinnati: World number one Novak Djokovic has a remarkably clear road to the ATP Cincinnati Masters final after producing an efficient victory while third seed Roger Federer crashed out of the US Open tune-up event.
Djokovic was never in danger in his 6-3, 6-4 triumph over 53rd-ranked Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, whom he finished off in 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Federer fell in a first-time meeting with Russian Andrey Rublev, who posted a 6-3, 6-4 upset.
Defending champion Djokovic will continue his quest in a Friday quarter-final, taking on France's Lucas Pouille, a 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-2 winner over Russian Karen Khachanov. Djokovic earned his eighth straight victory at Cincinnati on the first of two match points.
"I'm very pleased today. I beat a top quality player," Djokovic said. "It was straight sets but the score doesn't indicate how tough it was. "He had break points in both sets and I got out of trouble with some good serves. Overall, it was a really good match."
Federer, the seven-time Cincinnati champion who turned 38 last week, was unable to make an impression on Rublev, playing only his second match since losing the Wimbledon final to Djokovic.