An impressive 84 percent on first service points, and an efficient 1-for-2 on break points converted helped Federer take a set advantage. The Serb is bidding for the elusive last piece of a “Golden Masters” career achievement as the victor of all nine Masters 1000 tournaments.
It proved a back-and-forth set, as breaks were exchanged between both players and Murray somehow found himself 5-4 up on his serve, eventually clinching things on his second match point with a ripping serve.
Federer will be in for a tough time of it in the last four when he comes up against Murray, who beat 12th seed Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
With a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Lopez, Federer extends his chances of lifting an unprecedented seventh Western & Southern Open title as he moves on to the semifinals.
“Against top players, it’s not over until you shake the hand”, Ivanovic said. The elbow is better, and so was Djokovic’s serve – 85 percent accuracy during the first set. “Yeah, I did well to come through that one because I wasn’t feeling great last night”. I watched some of her matches in Toronto, and I spoke to Petko after she played her. She just said she has such a big game.
Djokovic also survived a scare in the pursuit of a first career Cincinnati title, with the top seed holding off David Goffin 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
He might be the logical favourite to win the US Open but there will be a leakage of smart money elsewhere after a faltering three-set win over Alexandr Dolgopolov exposed at least minor concerns about his fitness and form nine days before the action starts at Flushing Meadows.
That price on Federer just has the feel of being a bit short overall, with Murray’s probable fatigue after 29 sets of tennis since Wimbledon, compared to Federer’s half dozen, factored in.
But the experienced Djokovic pulled back from the brink, levelling at 3-3 after destroying a racquet along the way, and ran out the victor after a tense one and three-quarter hours.
Novak Djokovic is seeking to make tennis history in Cincinnati on Sunday – but the formidable figure of Roger Federer stands in his way. The Spaniard was hoping to win his clash against Federer. “We go way back to the European Championships, under-16 and under-18 where I lost both times against him”, Federer said.
The weather shouldn’t play much of a part, with it forecast to be around 27C and sunny when they’re due on court, with little wind, and if anything one would expect the higher on-court temperature to cause Murray to fatigue even more.