Three of the Top 4 men were in action on Wednesday in Cincinnati, and all three advanced comfortably into the round of 16 with straight-set wins.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic led the way with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Argentine Juan Monaco.
“I expected a little bit of a challenge for myself,” Djokovic said. “Especially because he’s a good player, but also because it’s the first match here in Cincinnati, which has different conditions from what we played in Montreal.”
No. 2 seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was impressive in a 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny, while No. 4 Rafael Nadal was too much off the ground for Benjamin Becker, defeating the German 6-2, 6-2.
“When you change cities, change a little bit of weather, the feelings on the ball is different,” Nadal said. “The speed of the court is not exactly the same. It’s a little bit slower here than in Montreal. And when you have these kind of tournaments back to back it’s not easy, but I’m very happy with the way I played this afternoon and the way that I adapted the game.”
The two upset-makers on the day were unseeded American John Isner serving No. 8 Richard Gasquet off the court 7-6(6), 6-2, and Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo outlasting No. 9 Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Other seeded winner were No. 6 Tomas Berdych rolling past Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-2, No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro defeating Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-5, No. 11 Tommy Haas setting up a meeting with Roger Federer by defeating Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, and No. 12 Milos “The Missile” Raonic defeating Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6(4).
All-unseeded highlights were Dmitry Tursunov ending the run of American James Blake 6-4, 6-4, and David Goffin edging Canadian Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(6).
Several top seeds escaped in three-setters on the women’s side Wednesday, including world No. 1 Serena Williams who recovered her composure to defeat Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“It was just some crazy tennis out there today,” Williams said. “It was just really different conditions than last week in Toronto — I always forget it’s so different here. So it probably took me a while to get used to it…There’s a reason [Bouchard] won Wimbledon juniors. There’s a reason she did well at Wimbledon this year. She’s flying up the rankings, and it’s because she’s really good.”
In the nightcap on stadium, No. 5 seed and defending champion Li Na needed to come from a set down to defeat American Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Failing to escape the upset bug were No. 8 seed Marion Bartoli who lost to Romanian Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, and No. 16 Maria Kirilenko who fell to German Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-4. Barthel will next meet the world No. 1 Williams.
Afterwards Bartoli announced her retirement from tennis, saying she no longer had the drive to play.
“That was the last match of my career,” said the tearful 2013 Wimbledon champion in her post-match conference. “I feel it’s time to walk away now.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Aggie Radwanska, No. 6 Sara Errani in three over Polona Hercog, No. 7 Petra Kvitova in three over Marina Erakovic, No. 9 Angie Kerber, and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki.
Thursday highlights in Cincy include (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (Q) David Goffin, (5) Roger Federer vs. (11) Tommy Haas, (4) Rafael Nadal vs. Grigor Dimitrov, (1) Serena Williams vs. Mona Barthel, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez vs. (7) Juan Martin Del Potro, (14) Jelena Jankovic vs. Sloane Stephens, (7) Petra Kvitova vs. (10) Caroline Wozniacki, (12) Milos Raonic vs. John Isner, (6) Tomas Berdych vs. Tommy Robredo, and (9) Angelique Kerber vs. (5) Na Li.
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
M Rybarikova (SVK) vs  V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] D Goffin (BEL) – ATP
 R Federer (SUI) vs  T Haas (GER) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs  R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 9:00 PM
 S Williams (USA) vs M Barthel (GER) – WTA
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
F Lopez (ESP) vs  J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
 J Jankovic (SRB) vs S Stephens (USA) – WTA
J Benneteau (FRA) vs  A Murray (GBR) – ATP
 P Kvitova (CZE) vs  C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
 S Stosur (AUS) vs S Halep (ROU) – WTA
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Chardy (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP
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Scared Bartoli Overcomes Venus Williams for WTA Stanford Title
Bartoli Beats Lisicki For First Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon
Serena Seeks First Title in a Year; Fish v. Gulbis in LA Final
Nalbandian, Tsonga Fight for Shanghai in Final Match of ATP Regular Season in Paris