Roger Federer’s main rivals fell by the wayside Friday in Paris. Top seed Novak Djokovic withdrew from the tournament at the start of the day because of continued pain in his right shoulder while No. 2 seed Andy Murray and No. 4 David Ferrer were both upset.
Murray began the session on Center Court losing a tight three set thriller to Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in 3-hours, 13-minutes.
“It was really one of the best three set matches I [have] played, even with the quality,” said Berdych who has now won three straight matches against Murray. “All three sets [were] very close. I’m the happier one today. But I think it was just a great game.”
Murray came into the contest riding a 17-match win streak, but the Scot still leaves feeling confident for a strong showing in London later this month.
“I got good practice going into London, which I didn’t have coming in here,” said Murray. “I’ll need to work on a few things. I was moving much better than I did in my first match by the end of this one.
“I was really unhappy with the way I hit my backhand today, which is normally my most solid shot, so that’s something I’ll look to work on. I didn’t feel all that comfortable on my serve this week, even though I didn’t get broken the first couple of matches.”
Federer was up next and despite a sloppy performance he subdued Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 to win his 800th career ATP match.
“I only heard about it yesterday,” said Federer of the milestone. “It’s nice. It’s a lot of matches, a lot of tennis [that] I’ve played – I know that. But I know there are many other players that have played more tennis than I have. So it’s just another win, but it’s a special one nevertheless, because 800 is definitely a big number.”
Federer will battle Berdych in the first semifinal on Saturday. The Swiss has never been to the Paris indoor final while Berdych won this title in 2005 as a 20-year-old. Federer leads 9-4 in their series but Berdych has won three of the last four.
With Djokovic withdrawn, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga didn’t have to hit a ball to reach the semifinals where tomorrow the Frenchman will face big-serving big man John Isner. The American upset David Ferrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his first career ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.
“I feel great,” said Isner. “It was my first Masters quarter-final, as well. I’m just thrilled to have won tonight, given that Ferrer is such a tough player. He’s No. 5 in the world for a reason. I played very well, and I’m very, very happy.”
In their only prior meeting Isner beat Tsonga in a third-set tiebreak at Washington in 2009.
CENTRAL COURT start 11:45
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) vs  R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)
Not Before 2:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 5:00 PM
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs J Isner (USA)
[WC] J Benneteau (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs S Gonzalez (MEX) / C Kas (GER)
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