Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were made to work for their wins on Thursday as the elite seeds struggled into the quarterfinals of the ATP Montreal Masters.
But, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray failed to advance as he slumped to a shock 6-4, 6-3 loss to Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis. Murray, who had won all five previous meetings with the colourful Gulbis, saw his 13-match winning streak snapped.
Top seed and three-time Canadian champion Djokovic dropped the opening set before swinging back into form to earn a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over 66th-ranked Denis Istomin. Nadal subdued Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(6), 6-4.
It was a huge day for host Canada, with two players into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1989.
Pospisil stuns Berdych
Wild card Vasek Pospisil shocked fifth seed Tomas Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(5) while 11th seed Milos Raonic blasted former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-4.
Fourth seed Nadal, playing his first event in seven weeks since losing in the first round at Wimbledon to Belgian Steve Darcis, needed one and three-quarter hours to see off Polish 15th seed Janowicz, a Wimbledon semifinalist.
The Spaniard will square off next against Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic, who needed two and a half hours to defeat Frenchman Benoit Paire, 7-6(7), 6-7(10), 6-3.
Fourth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek suffered a second-round defeat at the hands of Andy Murray and Colin Fleming as the Indian challenge ended.
The Indo-Czech team squandered five break chances as they lost 3-6, 3-6 to the British pair in the second round of the $2,887,085 hardcourt event. Paes and Stepanek had two chances in the first set and three in the second but could convert none. On the other hand, Murray and Fleming capitalised on the chances they got.
Meanwhile in Toronto, world No. 1 Serena Williams easily booked her spot in the quarterfinals of the WTA Canadian Open, routing 13th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens 6-0, 6-3.
The results: At Montreal: ATP Montreal Masters: Third round: Novak Djokovic bt Denis Istomin 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; Rafael Nadal bt Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(6), 6-4; Milos Raonic bt Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-4; Ernests Gulbis bt Andy Murray 6-4, 6-3; Marinko Matosevic bt Benoit Paire 7-6(7), 6-7(10), 6-3; Vasek Pospisil bt Tomas Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(5); Nikolay Davydenko bt Alex Bogomolov 6-4, 6-3; Richard Gasquet bt Kei Nishikori 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Doubles: Second round: Andy Murray & Colin Fleming bt Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3.
At Toronto: WTA Canadian Open: Third round: Serena Williams bt Kirsten Flipkens 6-0, 6-3; Magdalena Rybarikova bt Marion Bartoli 7-6(5), 1-0 (retd.); Agnieszka Radwanska bt Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6(2); Sara Errani bt Alize Cornet 7-5, 7-6(3); Li Na bt Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5); Dominika Cibulkova bt Roberta Vinci 6-3, 7-6(4); Sorana Cirstea bt Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-4; Petra Kvitova bt Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-3.