MASON, OHIO – World No. 1 Naomi Osaka reached the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, while Yoshihito Nishioka beat Alex de Minaur of Australia to advance to the last eight of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time.
Osaka, a two-time major winner, beat world No. 30 Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-2.
The second-seeded Osaka fired 15 aces and broke Hsieh’s serve five times to wrap the match in just under 2½ hours.
She will face seventh-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or Sofia Kenin of the United States for a spot in the semifinals.
Earlier in the day, world No. 77 Nishioka defeated world No. 38 de Minaur 7-5, 6-4.
The 23-year-old qualifier has won five matches in six days, including a victory over his injury-slowed countryman Kei Nishikori in the second round on Wednesday.
“I’ve always wanted to advance to the quarterfinals at a Masters tournament, so I am very happy,” Nishioka said. “This is really a special moment for me.”
In the quarterfinals, Nishioka will face world No. 19 David Goffin of Belgium, who knocked out France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 in third-round play.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer was ousted from one of his favorite tournaments in barely over an hour, falling in straight sets to a 21-year-old qualifier he’d never faced.
Andre Rublev — with only one career win over a top-five player to his credit — took advantages of Federer’s numerous mistakes for a 6-3, 6-4 victory that further depleted the top of the men’s bracket.
“The biggest and the most emotional win,” Rublev called it.
And shockingly fast, too: Federer’s quickest defeat on the tour since 2003.
“To be honest, it’s tough when it’s fast like this to tell you, well, I could have done this or that,” he said.
Federer has won the tournament more than anyone, using it as a springboard to the U.S. Open. He had 16 unforced errors against the 70th-ranked Rublev , who raised both fists and wiped a teary eye in celebration after Federer’s forehand sailed long to end it.
Struggling with his serve, Federer got broken twice in the first set.
“And there you have it. It set the tone for the match a little bit,” Federer said. “He was super clean — offense, defense, serving well. He didn’t give me anything.”
Federer, who lost a classic five-set match for the Wimbledon title to Novak Djokovic, thinks he’s in good shape heading into the U.S. Open despite the upset near Cincinnati.
“I played 45 matches this year, so I think I should be fine,” he said, smiling.
Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Pablo Carreno Busta.
“All in all, it was a very good, quality match,” Djokovic said. “I’m pleased I’m going in the right direction and looking forward to the next one.”
The day began with the ATP fining Nick Kyrgios $113,000 for expletive-filled outbursts that included smashing rackets, insulting a chair umpire and refusing to get ready to return serve during a second-round match the previous night.
In the women’s bracket, top-seeded Ashleigh Barty reached the quarterfinals, joined by a resurgent Venus Williams.
Barty beat Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, raising her fist in triumph after fighting off one match point to take the 2-hour, 10-minute match. She was down a break in the second set before rallying on a day when she struggled to find consistency.
“The best thing is when my back was against the wall, the tennis was there,” Barty said. “It may not have been there the whole match, but we were able to find it when we needed it.”
Barty, the French Open champion and currently ranked No. 2, can move up to the top spot by reaching the final.
With the crowd cheering for her, Williams recovered from a rough first set and beat Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, her best stretch of tennis in since she won three straight matches in March at Miami.