American crowd favorite John Isner toppled world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, while Tomas Berdych knocked out Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in Friday's quarterfinal action at the $3 million Western & Southern Open, a hardcourt ATP Masters 1000 event.
The unseeded Isner knocked out the four-time Cincinnati runner-up Djokovic in three sets, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-5, at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The tight match was decided when the towering American broke the Serbian star in the final game of the bout.
Isner, who was a hardcourt runner-up in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, is now 2-3 lifetime against Djokovic, with the other victory coming at a Masters event in Indian Wells, Calif., last year.
Djokovic lost to five-time Cincy champion Roger Federer in last year's marquee finale here.
This is the only Masters tournament that Djokovic has failed to win. He was the runner-up four of the last five years.
A sixth-seeded Berdych bounced the second-seeded Murray in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, on Day 6. Murray has now failed to get past the quarterfinals at both of his events since capturing his first Wimbledon title last month. He was a third-round loser in Montreal last week.
The reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion is a two-time Cincy titlist (2008, 2011).
Seventh-seeded former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro held off oft- injured Russian veteran Dmitry Tursunov, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Del Potro beat Isner in the recent D.C. finale and will face the 6-foot-9 American once again in Saturday's semifinals.
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.