Sunday 12 August 2012
Last Update 12 August 2012 3:15 pm
TORONTO: Defending champion Novak Djokovic, playing his second match in four hours, stormed into the semis of the Toronto Masters on Friday while Canadian Milos Raonic failed to deliver a similar outcome for the home crowd.
Djokovic, who was among several players playing two matches to make up for Thursday’s washout, defeated German Tommy Haas 6-3 3-6 6-3 hours after dispatching American Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 in a contest interrupted by a three-hour rain delay.
The top-seeded Serbian, who needed 2-1/2 hours to get by Haas, will next face fifth-seeded compatriot Janko Tipsarevic, who kicked off the evening session with a 6-4 6-4 win over Spain’s Marcel Granollers.
Tipsarevic had reached the last eight by beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-2 6-4 earlier on Friday.
Raonic, playing in his home tournament for the first time since breaking into the world’s top 25, fell 7-6 6-4 to eighth-seed American John Isner, who earlier edged Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The big-serving Canadian was on court for the first time since Tuesday, having been handed a walkover to the quarter-finals after Olympic singles champion Andy Murray pulled out due to injury.
While Raonic managed 13 aces in the match, Isner controlled the rallies, clinching the match with a volley to the open court after one of his own booming serves left the 16th seed well out of position.
Isner will now face Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a 5-7 6-1 6-1 winner over American Mardy Fish.
Canada’s Wozniak leads McHale
in rainy Montreal
In Montreal, Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak led American Christina McHale 7-6 (5), 5-2 on Friday when rain interrupted their third-round match in the Rogers Cup.
Play was suspended for more than six hours before the match was postponed until Saturday.
Wozniak is attempting to become the first Canadian to reach the quarterfinals in 20 years. Patricia Hy-Boulais was the last to do it, losing to Monica Seles in the quarterfinals in 1992.
Earlier, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of a left knee injury.
Azarenka, who had a first-round bye, was tied at 3-3 in the first set when her second-round match against Austria’s Tamira Paszek was suspended by rain Thursday night.
“I hope it is a short-term thing, but I don’t know,” Azarenka said. “I have to kind of stop and just take a little bit of time off because I absolutely had no rest for a long period of time, and just to settle it down and to go from there. But hopefully there is nothing serious.”
The 23-year-old Belarusian, ranked No. 1 in the world, won two Olympic medals in London, taking gold in mixed doubles and bronze in singles.
“The last week took so much energy out of me that I absolutely had no time to recover and my body is feeling it,” Azarenka said. “It was a little bit too much of a transition for me to come and start the training so I just felt my knee was not in good shape.”
She said the knee didn’t bother her during the Olympic tournament, played on grass at Wimbledon.
“It actually just happened when I came here,” Azarenka said. “When I started to train, the first time I hit it was a little bit of a compensation from the other court and it just happened.”
Azarenka confirmed that she would not play next week in Cincinnati. She said getting herself ready for the US Open is her top priority.
“The first is to get healthy, to make sure that I’m a hundred percent ready to play at the (US) Open,” Azarenka said.
Russia’s Maria Sharapova, ranked No. 2 in the world rankings, withdrew earlier from the tournament because of a virus. The Olympic silver medallist and French Open champion was the third seed.
Fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova made short work of Marion Bartoli in Friday’s first match, dispatching the ninth seed 6-1, 6-1.
“Her performance today was extraordinary,” Bartoli said. “When she plays like that she makes it very hard for her opponent to compete. I had break opportunities, and every time she served an ace.”
Lucie Safarova, the No. 16 seed, upset fourth-seeded Samantha Stosur, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5).
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