Top guns advance to last eight

Mason, August 19:

Roger Federer, gathering momentum with every match, advanced to the quarter-finals of the $2.45 million Cincinnati Masters by beating Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday night. Jose Acasuso of Argentina beat Luis Horna of Peru 7-6, 7-5 and will face Federer. Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin and Andy Roddick also advanced. Hewitt, the third-seeded player from Australia, beat Mario Ancic of Croatia 6-1, 6-4. Fourth-seeded Safin of Russia beat Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia 6-0, 6-3. No 5 Roddick downed Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina 7-6, 6-2, again unleashing his big serve to win a tiebreaker. Roddick’s match was suspended for 44 minutes because of rain. After the delay, each player held serve twice to reach 6-6. In other matches, sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia beat Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Youzhny of Russia beat Gael Monfils of France 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, and Robby Ginepri of the US beat Carlos Moya of Spain 6-3, 6-4.

Rogers Cup

TORONTO: Argentina’s Gisela Dulko capitalised on an ailing Svetlana Kuznetsova and beat the third-seeded Russian 7-6, 7-6 in the third round of the the Rogers Cup. Bothered by lower back pain, Kuznetsova, who begins her US Open title defence in 10 days, struggled throughout the match, and in the first set it appeared she would be unable to finish. In other matches, No 2 seed Amelie Mauresmo of France cruised by Conchita Martinez of Spain, 6-0, 6-2, to advance to the quarter-finals; Nadia Petrova of Russia moved on after Li Na of China retired with the score 6-2, 3-0; Anastasia Myskina defeated Shinobu Asagoe 7-6 (5), 7-5. Myskina will play Dulko in the quarters.

Dulko, ranked 35th, forced Kuznetsova several times to lunge for crosscourt shots. Trailing 6-5 in the first set, Kuznetsova asked a trainer to massage her back. She walked gingerly back onto the court, clutching her back and grimacing. Between sets, the Russian headed for the locker room, returning in a long-sleeve shirt. She seemed to improve midway through the second set, but Dulko persisted and closed the match with a blistering forehand to reach the quarter-finals. Injuries have become the theme at Rogers Cup, and tournament directors received more bad news when 12th-seeded Ana Ivanovic withdrew because of a strained right chest muscle.