Djokovic advances as Murray sets up semis showdown with Federer; Serena

Murray will face Roger Federer, who eased through a 6-3, 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez in only 61 minutes.

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The Swiss maestro overcame Murray 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) in a thrilling semi-final contest that lasted one hour and 37 minutes.

It’s his first tournament since he beat Murray in straight sets at Wimbledon before losing to Djokovic in the finals.

Djokovic took a medical timeout in the second set, got a little help in the tiebreaker, and pulled away to a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov on Saturday in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open.

Everyone is entitled to have an off day, but being the top-ranked player does carry a level of cache in which every match will be scrutinized. Federer is trying for his unprecedented seventh Cincinnati title. He had six double-faults, won his first service games 64 percent of the time, had 40 unforced errors and missed saving two break points in the first set.

In the ladies event, defending champion Serena Williams reached the semi-finals but not before having her mettle tested in a 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over sixth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic.

“I’m really happy to get the win, you know what to expect from him”, said Wawrinka, who saw 35 aces from Karlovic fly past him.

But with the start of the US Open just nine days away, Djokovic needed on-court treatment from the tournament doctor, and pain-killing medication after he complained of tightness in his abdomen early in the second set. The Brit converted on two of four break point chances, while his opponent came up empty on three break opportunities.

“Almost got myself back into the match today, and just didn’t return as well as I would’ve liked”. But these matches at the US Open just coming up are good for me physically and mentally.

Williams said that after playing on the back foot in the first set, she raised her game to post her ninth victory in 10 meetings over the former Roland Garros champion from Serbia. Jelena Jankovic punished eighth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Paris rematch: The Serbian world number one ran into trouble when his 24-year-old opponent broke in the first game of the second set, which resulted in a frustrated Djokovic destroying his racket with three smashes against the hard court.

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In other women’s matches, third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania dispatched Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 6-2.

Roger Federer stands in Serbian's way