Federer, Nadal, Murray nab quarter-final berths

CINCINNATI: World number one Roger Federer was nearly blown off track by blustery winds, while Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal steered a steady course into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters.

Swiss top seed Federer rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Spain''s David Ferrer, conquering not only the world number 19 but also blustery winds to line up a meeting with Aussie Lleyton Hewitt.

Despite the difficult conditions, the top four seeds all advanced to the quarter-finals. Murray, whose run to the title in Montreal last week saw him seize the world number two ranking from Nadal, defeated Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-1.

Nadal, the second seed despite his current No.3 world ranking, downed France''s Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-2, and fourth-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over France''s Jeremy Chardy.

In Friday''s quarters, Federer will face an old rival in Australian veteran Hewitt, who overcame American Sam Querrey 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 to earn a shot at the Swiss superstar.

Murray will face French lucky loser Julien Benneteau, a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) winner over Spain''s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Nadal will face Czech Tomas Berdych, who beat Aussie Chris Guccione 6-4, 6-3, while Djokovic will tackle another Frenchman, ninth-seeded Gilles Simon, who downed eighth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4.