Defending BNP Paribas Masters champion Novak Djokovic suffered a shocking loss at the hands of Marin Cilic on Friday, opening the door for Andy Murray to grab the lead in the ATP world standings. Murray beat Tomas Berdych in two sets and now needs just one more win to pass the Djoker.
Djokovic entered the quarter-finals with a perfect record against Cilic but lost in two sets, while John Isner also booked a semi-final spot with a win over Jack Sock.
Here's a look at Friday's results:
|(9) Marin Cilic||6-4, 7-6 (2)||(1) Novak Djokovic|
|John Isner||7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4||Jack Sock|
|(2) Andy Murray||7-6 (9), 7-5||(7) Tomas Berdych|
|(4) Milos Raonic||6-2, 7-6 (4)||(11) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|
As shared by TennisTV, Djokovic entered his match against Cilic with quite the advantage:
The 28-year-old was not impressed by the World No. 1 and started the match on fire, grabbing an early break to take the lead. Djokovic looked a step slow during the early proceedings, and his brilliance in the return game couldn't make the difference against the Croat's big serve.
Djokovic broke back to reduce the deficit to a single game, but after the seventh, he requested medical assistance. The Djoker returned to the court and seemed fine, but in the latter stages of the first set, he once again fell behind in the rallies.
It didn't help that Cilic continued the superb form he has showed the last few days, evidenced by this sensational lob, per TennisTV:
Serving to stay in the set, the Djoker fell behind early in the 10th game and ended up giving up another break. BBC Sport reminded British fans what was at stake:
Cilic scored eight more winners than Djokovic in the first set, and the 2014 U.S. Open winner didn't let up in the second set. He kept attacking from the baseline and setting his game up with his big serve, but Djokovic improved in the rallies, and break chances were few.
The Serb made the most of his chances in the ninth, grabbing his first break of the match, but Cilic broke back immediately. Djokovic saved two match points and eventually forced a tie break, but in that final game, he had no answers for Cilic.
Murray didn't have it easy against Berdych but kept his bid for the top spot on schedule, beating the Czech in two sets. Berdych needed to beat Murray to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals and gave it his all on Friday, pushing Murray deep in a first-set tiebreak.
He also grabbed a break late in the second set at a crucial time, as Murray was serving for the match, but in the end, the Scot's raw quality won out.
In Friday's opening match, Isner beat Sock in an all-American battle filled with twists and turns. The two good friends played out a very entertaining match, aided by the umpire, who made a handful of questionable calls that irked the players.
Isner was far from happy when he was called for a foot foul at a crucial time in the first set, but he regained his composure to win a tiebreak. Sock used his serve to make the difference in the second set, but a few key shots from Isner were enough to grab the win and qualify for the semi-finals.