Novak Djokovic is seeking to make tennis history in Cincinnati on Sunday – but the formidable figure of Roger Federer stands in his way.
Wawrinka denied Djokovic a chance to complete a career grand slam in Paris but was wayward in Cincinnati, finishing with 33 unforced errors and pushing a backhand wide on match point.
Djokovic gained the upper hand in the second set with a break for a 5-3 lead, but Dolgopolov promptly broke back to push the set to a tiebreak in which the Ukrainian led 3-0 and 5-4 before Djokovic managed to level the match at a set apiece. He gritted through another one, taking control by winning five consecutive games in the second set. Wawrinka never recovered and lost his serve two more times as Djokovic clinched the set 6-1 and thereby the match. “Came at the right time, against one of my biggest rivals and the guy I lost to last time we played in the finals of French Open”. He’s trying to become the first to win all nine.
Djokovic will play qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov, who upset sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. The Serb has beaten Williams only once in nine meetings with the only win coming at in a last-16 clash at the 2014 Australian Open. And he’s looking very fresh, especially with his serve.
Knapp was able to win just one point on Williams’ serve in the first set, and six in the second – as the American rounded out a routine victory in 54 minutes.
He hasn’t been broken during his four matches, a total of 29 service games. In response to Lopez’s remark that “You (Federer) were flying all over the court.”, Federer quipped: “I have a few more years left in me”.
Though disappointed with the result, Nadal was pleased with his performance.
“Usually there isn’t a point where I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this, ‘ but today there definitely was”, Williams said. “For me, it’s a tough loss because I was playing better and my feelings on court were better than they were before”.
Novak Djokovic had to rally against a lowly qualifier to get another shot at a title he’s never won.
“It’s my third final in a row here, and it feels good to be back in the final!”
With the match tied, Murray continued to apply pressure and earned the critical break in the deciding set when Gasquet double-faulted at 4-4, 15/40. The Frenchman avoided a clean slate, but Murray clinched the set in just 31 minutes.