MASON, Ohio -- A weary Rafael Nadal and an off-target Roger Federer got knocked out of the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open on Friday. No. 1 Novak Djokovic had to rally to avoid an upset, too.
Playing a day after he spent five hours on court, Nadal faded in a 6-3, 6-4 loss to American Mardy Fish, who had never beaten the second-ranked Spaniard. Later, the third-seeded Federer struggled with his groundstrokes during a 6-2, 7-6 (3) loss to a sore-shouldered Tomas Berdych, who has won three of their last four matchups. Djokovic survived a match of long rallies and electrifying shots, beating Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The men's bracket finally got its first big upsets.
A worn-out Nadal simply couldn't keep up. Fish reached the tournament's semifinals for the second straight year -- he lost to Federer in the final in 2010.
"It was a great opportunity for me, catching him in a place where he maybe was not as confident as in his previous matches or tournaments," said Fish, who counted it among his top five career wins.
Nadal's tired legs and burned fingertips had something to do with it.
A day earlier, the 25-year-old Spaniard needed three tiebreaks and 3 hours, 38 minutes to beat Fernando Verdasco. That was followed by a 70-minute doubles match. He ended the day with blisters on his left foot.
Plus, his right hand was bothering him -- he burned the tips of his index and middle fingers on a hot plate at a restaurant before the tournament began and had to play with them heavily bandaged.
"I didn't play well here, especially," Nadal said. "A little bit unlucky week for me with the burned fingers and the very long match yesterday."
Fish knew everything was on his side this time in the lopsided rivalry -- he'd never come close to beating Nadal in their six previous matches, winning a total of two sets.
"I really felt I could win, maybe should win in that scenario," Fish said.
Federer had trouble with his groundstrokes and never had a chance to break Berdych's serve. The Swiss star had an uncharacteristic 29 unforced errors and hit three forehands wide during the tiebreak.
"I definitely didn't feel I was getting a great read on his first serve today," Federer said. "He served well and played a good match. Unfortunately, I didn't play a very good tiebreaker today."
Twice during the second set, Berdych got the side of his right shoulder rubbed by a trainer. He kept going and closed it out before dropping out of his doubles match scheduled for later in the day because of the shoulder problem.
Berdych said he hurt the shoulder during the match and would have it examined later in the day. He didn't know whether it would prevent him from playing his semifinal match.
"You know, in these rounds of the tournament, it's just the way of how are you feeling, if you just had a good sleep and you just feel good in the morning and just go for it and play your best game," he said.
He'll play Djokovic, who had a tough time in a match full of long baseline rallies with an opponent he's beaten all eight times they've played. He easily handled Monfils 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Montreal last week.
This time was much different.
Monfils broke Djokovic's serve to open the match and set the tone. He made spectacular shots -- Djokovic even patted his racket in appreciation -- while pulling ahead 4-3 in the second set. Djokovic broke him to go up 5-4 and finally take control. He broke him again to start the third set and again to finish it.
"In the first set, he was down in concentration," Monfils said. "Then he got into it and it was tougher."
Djokovic bore down over the 1-hour, 53-minute match, improving to 56-1 this season and 32-0 on hard courts.
"It was a very physical match, but I hung in there and it was a good win," Djokovic said. "It was an intense match, a lot of tension."