CINCINNATI: Roger Federer engineered a 6-1, 6-1 rout in less than an hour, outclassing the big-serving Kevin Anderson to join Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
Switzerland’s Federer swept the first set in 21 minutes and began the second set with a break of South African Anderson.
“I’m pleased with a rock-solid performance,” said the six-time champion. “I know it’s only the quarters but I’m playing great tennis. I hope I can keep it up tomorrow.”
While the second seed was able to make it all look easy, it was a slog for an exhausted Andy Murray as the third-seeded Montreal title-winner needed a shade under three hours to put down Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5.
Dimitrov led a set and two breaks before Murray hauled the second set back. The Bulgarian then owned the third 5-2 but could not close it out despite getting to match point.
Murray gathered the last of his reserves to take the win, his 26th at the tournament, which he won in 2008 and 2011.
Djokovic also survived a scare in the pursuit of a first career Cin¬cinnati title, with the top seed holding off David Goffin 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
Djokovic, aiming to become the first man to win all eight Masters 1000 events, nearly found himself on the sidelines as his 13th-seeded Belgian opponent won the second set and went two breaks up in the decider.
But the experienced Serb pulled back from the brink, leveling at 3-3 and ran out the winner after a tense one and three-quarter hours.
Djokovic stayed alive despite seven double-faults and five breaks of his serve.
“It was a solid first set, but whatever happened in the next 45 minutes I don’t want to remember it.
“Luckily for me I managed to bounce back, dig myself out of this hole I was in,” added Djokovic, who admitted he had struggled to adjust to the conditions.