Roger Federer has been doing well on tennis courts of late but his title clash with world no.1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday will be his toughest test awaiting. In his quest for an unprecedented seventh Cincinnati Masters title, the Swiss defeated Great Britain’s Andy Murray in Saturday’s semifinal. Federer’s last hurdle is Novak Djokovic, who has never won the Western & Southern Open but he is now tantalizingly close to completing a Career Golden Masters. The Serbian had to fight against the Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov, who pushed the world no.1 to the brink of defeat in the other semi-final. But the brave heart Djokovic recovered and won the match in three sets. Women single’s top seed Serena Williams moved one step closer in her 2014 title defense by defeating Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. The world no.1 will take on Romania’s Simona Halep in the final on Sunday. The no.3 seeded Halep didn’t have to work too hard against Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, whom she defeated in straight sets, losing just 3 games in the match. In men’s doubles final, sixth seeded Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic will take on Canada’s Daniel Nestor and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin while women’s doubles title game will feature Australia’s Casey Dellacqua/Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Taiwanese pair of Hao-Ching Chan/Yung-Jan Chan.
Roger Federer began his match with Andy Murray by breaking the Briton in the third game of the first set and consolidated to a 3-1 lead. Federer couldn’t succeed in obtaining another break in Murray’s next service game, when the Scot was down 0-30. Regardless, the Swiss went on to win the first set in 38 minutes with his 14th winner. Murray raised his game in the second set but Federer edged out the recent Rogers Cup champion in the tiebreak to cruise through with a 6-4, 7-6 victory.
In Sunday’s title game, Federer will face top seed Novak Djokovic, who had all sorts of problems in the other semifinal with Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Serbian has never won at Cincinnati, despite four previous attempts and he would like to reverse that in his quest for a Career Golden Masters. Djokovic, however, had to fight hard against the plucky Ukrainian. Dolgopolov was unpredictable in the first set as he converted both the break points he earned. He also matched Djokovic in net play and snatched the first set from the Serb in 32 minutes. Djokovic recovered in the second set and began serving at 5-3. The Ukrainian, however, broke at the crucial time and forced the tiebreak. Djokovic came close to be down by a match point against Dolgopolov but the Ukrainian erred to hand over the second set to Djokovic. In the third set, Dolgopolov required some on-court medical attention, after which Djokovic came back strongly to wind up the match at 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in 2 hours 20 minutes.
With a straight-set semifinal victory over Ukraine’s 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina on Saturday, Serena Williams entered the final to defend her title. Serena had some early trouble, when she was broken by Svitolina and trailed 1-3 in the first set. But the world no.1 reeled off the next three games and broke Svitolina once again in the ninth game to lead 5-4. After serving out to win the first set, the American snatched a 3-1 lead in the second set and never looked back before finishing the match 6-4, 6-3. For the title game on Sunday, the top seed will have a face-off with no.3 seeded Romanian Simona Halep, who completely outplayed Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic. The Romanian produced 22 winners and limited herself to just 14 unforced errors. Halep broke Jankovic 7 times to win at 6-1, 6-2.
In men’s doubles, sixth seeded Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic defeated no.2 seeds Croatian Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo 6-4, 6-4 to enter the final. For the title on Sunday, Matkowski /Melo will play against no.6 seeds Canada’s Daniel Nestor/ France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin. In the other semifinal the Canadian/French duo defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Belarus’ Max Mirnyi 7-5, 6-4. In women’s doubles semifinal, Taiwanese combo of Hao-Ching Chan/Yung-Jan Chan defeated top seeds Martina Hingis (Switzerland)/Sania Mirza (India) 6-4, 0-6, 10-6. For women doubles title on Sunday, the Chans will face Australia’s Casey Dellacqua/Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova.
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