World No. 1 and four-time runner-up Novak Djokovic, two-time champion Andy Murray, five-time winner Roger Federer and fourth-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal were among Thurday's third-round winners at the $3 million Western & Southern Open, a hardcourt ATP Masters 1000 event.
Last year's runner-up Djokovic blew away Belgian David Goffin 6-2, 6-0 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where Federer upended the Serbian star in last year's marquee finale.
Djokovic needs a Cincy title to complete the career Golden Masters, or titles at every Masters event.
His quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be 6-foot-9 American favorite John Isner.
The second-seeded Murray dismantled Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-2 on Day 5. The reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion was the Cincinnati titlist in 2008 and 2011.
Nadal moved on with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Grigor Dimitrov. The French Open king Nadal was last week's Masters champion in Montreal.
Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded former No. 1 Federer had to come from behind in order to beat 11th-seeded German veteran Tommy Haas, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Last year, the 17-time Grand Slam king Federer became the first player in the Open Era to win five Cincinnati titles.
Federer and Nadal will meet for the 31st time in their storied rivalry on Friday in the quarterfinals. Nadal has a 13-2 record against Federer on clay, while Federer leads 2-1 on grass courts.
An upset came when oft-injured but capable Russian Dmitry Tursunov took out third-seeded French Open runner-up David Ferrer, of Spain, 6-2, 6-4.
Tomas Berdych, the No. 6 seed, cruised past Tommy Robredo by a 6-3, 6-0 margin.
Seventh-seeded Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro avoided an upset by getting past Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. The 6-foot-7 former U.S. Open titlist del Potro was a hardcourt champ in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago.
Del Potro will meet Tursunov here on Friday.
The recent D.C. runner-up Isner upended 12th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, on Thursday. Raonic was last week's Canadian Masters runner-up to the great Nadal in Montreal.
This is the last Masters tournament before the U.S. Open, which will commence August 26 in New York.
The 2013 Cincinnati champ will collect $583,800.