Djokovic, Nadal cruise into Rogers Cup semis
Montreal, QC – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and two-time tournament champion Rafael Nadal set up a blockbuster semifinal at the $2.887 million Coupe Rogers Cup after each prevailed in their matches on Friday.
The top-seeded Djokovic, the reigning two-time winner who's seeking a fourth overall title at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, needed a mere 52 minutes to dispose of veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet by a 6-1, 6-2 count.
Djokovic also downed Gasquet, seeded seventh in this edition, in the 2012 final in Toronto. The Rogers Cup shifts between Montreal and Toronto each year.
No. 4 seed Nadal, who captured titles at this tournament in 2005 and 2008, punched his ticket into Saturday's semis with a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Australian Marinko Matosevic.
The two superstars will be facing one another for the first time since the semifinals of this past June's French Open, which Nadal took in an epic five- set thriller en route to his Open-era record eighth title at Roland Garros.
Djokovic did defeat Nadal on clay in the finals in the Monte Carlo Masters back in April.
Saturday's other semifinal will feature 11th-seeded Milos Raonic after the Canadian crowd favorite outlasted capable Latvian slugger Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours, 26 minutes. Raonic swatted 11 aces, while Gulbis piled up 11 double faults.
Raonic will take on fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil after the 23-year-old wild card topped Nikolay Davydenko when the Russian retired while trailing 3-0 in the opening set.
The former world No. 3 Davydenko, who stunned fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych on Thursday, said afterward he is dealing with bronchitis.
Raonic and Pospisil will meet for the first time on the ATP circuit on Saturday.
The 2013 Rogers Cup champion will earn $547,300.