Rafael Nadal match rained out at Cincinnati Masters; Grigor Dimitrov in quarters
Rafael Nadal didn’t take the court due to rain while conditions early on Thursday allowed players to play and third seed Dominic Thiem overcame Adrian Mannarino to reach the quarterfinals at ATP Cincinnati Masters while Grigor Dimitrov got the better of Juan Martin del Potro.tennis Updated: Aug 18, 2017 14:48 IST
The top seeds at the Cincinnati Masters waited hours through rain before their matches were postponed late Thursday night, setting up a chaotic weekend finish. Defending champion Karolina Pliskova was up 3-0 in the first set against Camila Giorgi when steady rain moved in and the match was called more than two hours later. Rafael Nadal, the top seed in the men’s bracket, never took the court.
Both face the prospect of a long day Friday — an early afternoon match and, if they win, another at night. Three long delays and several shorter ones Thursday kept players waiting.
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov beat the rain to progress.
Conditions early on Thursday allowed players to take to the court and third seed Thiem overcame in-form Adrian Mannarino to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP 1000 event.
Dimitrov – the seventh seed – got the better of Juan Martin del Potro in windy and humid weather.
Conditions deteriorated later in the day with tournament officials eventually cancelling play approaching midnight in Cincinnati.
Australian Nick Kyrgios was trailing Ivo Karlovic 4-3 in the opening set when the rain set in, with the winner of that match set to face either Nadal or Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Friday.
It was always going to be a tough match against Frenchman Mannarino, who advanced to the quarter-finals at the Rogers Cup last week.
He forced Thiem to two tie-breaks as the Austrian prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3).
Next up for Thiem after his two-hour battle is Spanish veteran David Ferrer, who defeated compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 6-4.
DIMITROV FINALLY BEATS DEL POTRO
For the first time in six matches, Dimitrov claimed a win over Del Potro.
Dimitrov won through to the last eight at an ATP 1000 event for the eighth time thanks to a 6-3 7-5 victory.
“He’s a tricky opponent... a super-experienced player,” said Dimitrov. “I definitely had to stay away a little bit from that forehand. I knew if I keep the ball low on his backhand side and just kind of work my way into the court, it would have been the right thing to do.
“I think I did this thing very, very well today. The short slice really made him very uncomfortable, and he was giving me a lot of short balls, so I could start moving him with my forehand. It was also a bit of a mind game, because we know our game pretty well.”
Standing in the way of Dimitrov and consecutive Cincinnati semi-finals is Japan’s Yuichi Sugita, who rallied to defeat Karen Khachanov 6-7 (0-7) 6-3 6-3.
ISNER OVERCOMES TIAFOE AND RAIN
John Isner booked his spot in the quarters with a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 victory against fellow American Frances Tiafoe.
Tiafoe stunned Alexander Zverev to reach the last 16 but he was unable to back it up against 2013 runner-up Isner, who fired down 27 aces.
It is another all-American clash on Friday as Isner faces Jared Donaldson after his 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win against Nikoloz Basilashvili.
First Published: Aug 18, 2017 10:09 IST