PARIS (AFP) - The Paris Masters was blown wide open on Friday when both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer pulled out of their quarter-finals with injuries. Second seeded Federer was the first to go announcing on his website that he would not be able to take his place on the centre court for his evening tie against James Blake. Top seed Nadal did see some action shortly afterwards but promptly withdrew with an injury to his right knee after dropping the first set 1-6 to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko. In the day's opening quarter-final, meanwhile, Andy Murray's hopes of making tennis history by winning three consecutive Masters Series titles were wrecked by an outstanding David Nalbandian. The defending champion from Argentina won their quarter-final tie 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 producing the best tennis of the week so far as his love affair with Paris in the autumn continued. The shocks of the day, however, concerned Federer and Nadal who had been seeded to face off in Sunday's final in what would have been their first meeting on court since their epic Wimbledon final in July. The second seed, who has never won a tournament in Paris, strained his back going for a shot in his opening match on Wednesday against Sweden's Robin Soderling and it came back overnight Thursday to haunt him. It was the first time in his career that Federer had been forced to withdraw from a tournament after it had started and it will cast doubts over whether he will be able to defend his Masters title in Shanghai starting in nine days time. "I'd had a bad back for a couple of days - it came about against (Robin) Soderling (on Wednesday) - went away for the next match against Cilic but came back during that match and hasn't gone away since. "With overnight painkillers you sort of get over it but I just can't play the way it is right now. Hopefully it will be fine for Shanghai." The withdrawal improves Blake's chances of reaching the Masters Finals and he now goes on to play the winner of the remaining quarter-final tie between Andy Roddick and home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the final. Nadal said that he had felt a pain in his knee on Thursday and that it got worse overnight. "I had no power in my right leg and you are never going to win a match like this. Hopefully I will be fine for Shanghai but you never know." Nalbandian played some of the best tennis of his career at this same tournament here last year defeating both Federer and Nadal in straight sets on his way to clinching back-to-back Masters titles. And the Paris air appears to have lifted his spirits again as he saw off Murray, who had won the last two ATP tournaments in Madrid and St Petersburg and who had a chance here to become the first man to win three consecutive Masters Series titles after Cincinnati and Madrid. Nalbandian broke first in the fourth game of the first set to lead 3-1, but he promptly gave that back in the following game with some sloppy play. A tried-looking Murray was hanging on grimly and took the set into a tie-break but he fell quickly behind in that and never looked like turning the tables as he has done so often in recent games. Nalbandian jumped out into a 2-0 lead in the second set only for Murray to get back on level terms again, but when the 21-year-old Scot dropped his serve again in the next game the writing was clearly on the wall. "The standard of points was excellent," Murray said. "I am obviously disappointed to lose but I'm glad that I played against a guy as good as him and it took him playing a great match to beat me. "The tie-break I didnt serve particularly well. That was probably the one thing that cost me the first set." Nalbanian next plays Davydenko for a place in the final.