Nick Kyrgios got the best of Rafael Nadal in the Cincinnati quarterfinals on Friday evening. Nadal was at the tail-end of double duty as he had to win a round-of-sixteen match earlier in the day. The loss to the Australian does nothing to change the fact that the Spaniard will be top ranked on Monday. However, the result does mean he will back into the position with nothing but a quarterfinal showing in Cincinnati as opposed to charging in with a title. That will make him more susceptible to losing the top spot more quickly than if he had done better in the Cincinnati final.

Final four in Cincinnati

The 2017 Western & Southern Open is now down to semifinalists. David Ferrer remains in the tournament as the only individual among the semifinalists to have won a Masters Series title before. Ferrer claimed the Paris Masters several years ago. Kyrgios, John Isner, and Grigor Dimitrov are all alive in the draw looking for what would be a maiden title at the 1000-series level.

Kyrgios and Ferrer do not have an extensive head-to-head series against one another. They have met just one time in their careers, that coming in 2013 at a time when Ferrer was enjoying a lot more success on tour. The Spaniard won their match that season in straight sets at the US Open. Kyrgios had enjoyed some modest success at that point in his career, but he was not the player that tennis fans know him to be now.

He'll be looking to make amends for a tough loss in the semifinals of Indian Wells earlier this season.

Finals candidate will emerge

The Ferrer/Kyrgios match certainly is an interesting one. With the Aussie, he is looking to put a patch of bad form behind him and show that the future stars on tour are not just Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev.

With Ferrer in many ways, he is coming out of the blue. It was just a couple months ago that he was looking as though significant tennis results in major tournaments were a thing of his past, not his future. But he won a title in Bastad in July and now he could end up in the Cincinnati Masters final. With everything that he has gone through and having never given up he could be looking at a spot back in the top 20 soon.

If he can win a title and stay healthy then with all the players on the sidelines, the ATP World Tour Finals are not out of the question for Ferrer. In fact, all four players still alive in Cincinnati could be thinking about qualifying for that event, especially the player that claims the championship this weekend.