seeded Murray saved match points
to defeat the 11th seeded John Isner of the USA 6-7(3-7), 6-3, 7-6(7-4) with the American double-faulting on the
final match point.
Later Thursday in the night session on Center Court, the 2nd seeded Federer stopped the athletic Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
On the other half of the draw yesterday, the top seeded, recently married, soon to be father and 2014 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia was upset by the 16th seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain 7-6(8-6), 7-5 which left Federer and Murray as favorites to win the Cincinnati title.
Also absent from the Cincinnati draw is the second ranked and 2013 US Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain. Nadal, who beat Djokovic in last year’s US Open final, withdrew from all summer hard court tournaments except the US Open with a right wrist injury.
Head to head, the 27 year old Murray leads the 33 year old Federer 11-10.
However the Swiss took the duos’ last meeting in January in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6-8), 6-3.
At the 2012 US Open final round, Murray defeated Djokovic in five sets to take his only US Open title.
Federer won the US Open title five years in a row from 2004 to 2008.
In his last US Open title win in 2008, Federer topped Murray in the championship match 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.
Unable this year to duplicate his surprising Wimbledon success from last year, Murray’s ranking has fallen to number nine, while Federer’s ranking has risen to three.
This week, both Federer and Murray look to gain momentum for the US Open, tennis’ final grand slam of the year, which begins August 25th in New York City.