-- Andy Roddick is the latest seeded player to make an exit at the $2.45 million Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.
The third-seeded American and the event's defending champion was defeated by No. 16 David Ferrer, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 on Thursday in third-round play at the hardcourt event.
With the loss, Roddick became the sixth player seeded in the top eight to be eliminated here. The only players remaining from that group are top-seeded Roger Federer and No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko - both advanced to the quarterfinals Thursday.
Ferrer held serve in the first set to force a tiebreak, where Roddick double-faulted in the first game and eventually found himself in 3-0 hole. After his lead shrunk to 5-4, Ferrer served out the set for the win, prompting Roddick to toss his racquet in disgust.
The Spaniard again held serve in the second set and, at 5-4, earned the only break point of the match to seal the victory.
Ferrer, who has split four career matches with Roddick, also reached the quarterfinals here a year ago before falling to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.
He'll go for a second straight upset when he faces Davydenko, a 6-3, 6-2 winner against 10th-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych.
The Russian, who is the highest seeded player remaining on the right side of the draw, lost his only meeting with Ferrer back in 2004 at Palermo, Italy. Ranked fifth in the world, Davydenko has never reached the semifinals of this event in three prior appearances.
Though he avoided becoming an upset victim, Federer had some shaky moments in his 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, win over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.
Leading 6-5 and serving for set point at 40-15, Baghdatis double-faulted and lost the following point, allowing the world No. 1 to knot the game at deuce. Federer battled back from two more set points before he benefited from another costly double-fault by Baghdatis to gain the advantage.
Moments later, Federer won the game to force the tiebreak, which he eventually closed out with a powerful ace.
Baghdatis stayed close in the second set before being broken at 5-5 by Federer, who then served out the match. Ranked 18th in the world, Baghdatis fell to 0-5 against Federer and has won just two sets total in those meetings.
The only seeded player remaining on his side of the draw, Federer is in prime position to win this event for the second time in three years.
Nicolas Almagro of Spain is Federer's quarterfinals opponent following his, 6-2, 6-2, win over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen earlier Thursday. Almagro has two career titles, winning at Valencia as the local favorite in each of the last two years, and was a finalist in Bastad last month.
Including wins earlier this year in Miami and Rome, Federer is a perfect 4-0 against the unseeded 21-year-old.
The only other seeded player left at this event is ninth-seeded James Blake, who was sharp in his 6-1, 6-4, win over Juan Carlos Ferrero in Thursday evening's feature match.
Blake appeared completely recovered from an abdominal muscle strain that troubled him in Montreal last week. The 27-year-old saved the only break point he faced and converted 25 of 31 first serve points, including five aces.
Playing with scraped legs that resulted from a recent golf cart accident, Ferrero had been 3-0 all-time against the American, including a pair of wins over him at this event.
Blake moves on to face fellow American wild card Sam Querrey, who is making his first quarterfinals appearance in an ATP Masters event. Querrey advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 win over unseeded Juan Monaco, who reached the third round when second-seeded Rafael Nadal was forced to retire Wednesday due to a left arm injury.
Blake owns a 2-1 lead in the all-time series with Querrey, who won the most recent meeting earlier this year in quarterfinals at Indianapolis.
In other third-round action, Spaniard Carlos Moya got all he could handle from Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro before emerging with a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 triumph. Moya defeated Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the finals to win this event in 2002.
The same players will be quarterfinal opponents at this edition of the event as Hewitt eased past Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-3, 6-3, in their third-round match Thursday.
While they haven't faced each other since 2004, Hewitt has won five consecutive matches against Moya and owns a 7-5 edge in the all-time series.
First prize is $400,000.