There is no let-up from Roger Federer’s tennis brilliance as he stormed into the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Friday. The big Swiss not only recorded his 40th match victory in the tournament but inched one step closer to an unprecedented 7th title at Cincinnati. His opponent in the semifinal is Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who defeated 12th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in three sets. Meanwhile, top seed Novak Djokovic avenged his loss against Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final to set up the other semifinal clash with Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, an upset winner over Czech Republic’s sixth seeded Tomas Berdych. Among women, top seeded Serena Williams recovered from the first set loss against Serbian no.6 seed Ana Ivanovic and she will next play 14th-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina for a place in the final. Svitolina defeated Czech Republic’s seventh seeded Lucie Safarova. In the other quarterfinal no.3 seed Romania’s Simona Halep beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Romanian’s semi-final opponent will be Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, who outlasted Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. In doubles, USA’s Bryan brothers lost in the quarterfinals to Canada’s Daniel Nestor and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Also losing the QF were India’s Rohan Bopanna/Romania’s Floria Mergea and Leander Paes (India)/ Stan Wawrinka. In women’s doubles, the no.1 seeds Swiss-Indo combine of Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza entered the semifinals.
Playing aggressive tennis in his Friday’s quarterfinal match against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, Swiss great Roger Federer dominated play from the very start. With 12 winners and 83% of total service points, Federer broke Lopez once and pocketed the first set. However, Federer trailed 2-3 at the start of the second set before reeling off 5 straight points to win the match 6-3, 6-4. For the place in the final, Federer will face Scotsman Andy Murray, who rallied after dropping the first set against Frenchman Richard Gasquet. In the first set, Murray failed to convert a break point in eighth game and lost his serve in the ninth. After losing the first set, the Scot bounced back to take the second in just 30 minutes. At the start of the third, Murray broke Gasquet to lead 2-1 but looked like losing his hold because of distraction from lengthening shadows and the spider camera. However, he regained his composure to finish the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic proved too good against his French Open conqueror Stan Wawrinka as he completed an easy 6-4 6-1 victory over the Swiss. Wawrinka had denied Djokovic a chance to complete a career grand slam by beating the Serb at Roland Garros. On Friday, Djokovic dropped just 12 points on his serve and broke Wawrinka 4 times before notching up a 6-4, 6-1 win. For the place in the final, Djokovic will face Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov, who caused an upset by beating no.6 seed Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2.
In women’s draw, defending champion and no.1 seed Serena Williams entered the semi-finals after losing the first set against the sixth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic. But Serena regained her rhythm to take the next two sets and finish with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win. For the place in the final, Serena will play Ukraine’s 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina, who disposed of the seventh-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 2-6, 6-0. In other quarterfinals, no.3 seed Romania’s Simona Halep defeated Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6, 6-2 and she will face Serbian veteran Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4, 6-2.
In men’s doubles matches USA’s Bryan brothers lost 4-6, 4-6 in their quarterfinal against Daniel Nestor (Canada)/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France); Ivan Dodig (Croatia)/Marcelo Melo (Brazil) defeated Rohan Bopanna (India)/Floria Mergea (Romania) 6-1, 1-6, 14-12; no.6 seeds Poland’s Marcin Matkowski/Serb Nenad Zimonjic defeated no.3 seeds Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer/Romania Horia Tecau 6-3, 6-4 and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez/Belarusian Max Mirnyi defeated India’s Leander Paes/Swiss Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-3, 14-12.
In women’s doubles matches; no.1 seeds Martina Hingis(Switzerland)/Sania Mirza (India) reached the semifinal with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over USA’s Christina McHale/Coco Vandeweghe and Taiwanese duo of Hao-Ching Chan/Yung-Jan Chan beat the Italian combo of Sara Errani/Flavia Pennetta 6-7, 7-6, 19-17. However the Australian/Kazakhstan pair of Casey Dellacqua/Yaroslava Shvedova have reached the final by beating another Taiwanese pair Chia-Jung Chuang/Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 7-5.
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