Roger ousts Stan in all-Swiss clash

Annette Crawford
August 20, 2018

Novak Djokovic overcame a battling Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach his sixth Cincinnati Masters final on Saturday while Roger Federer enjoyed a less-taxing route to the title match after his semi-final opponent David Goffin retired with a shoulder injury.

"But it got better towards the end, I'm glad my serve has worked well all week". "I'm exhausted. I'm going to recover for tomorrow and hopefully be in better shape".

Only a couple of hours later, Djokovic stopped Milos Raonic 7-5 4-6 6-3, improving his career record to a flawless 9-0 against the Canadian.

Asked about the rivalry, Djokovic played a straight bat: "I understand you want to ask me that question but out of respect to Goffin I don't want to answer it", he said in an on-court interview.

A match that started with a low key atmosphere developed into a cracking affair when Federer took the second set tiebreak as lightning reverberated near the stadium.

Djokovic only secured his defeat of Cilic late in the final set, breaking for 5-3 and finishing off the hard-fought victory in the next game. So I'm not surprised that she's in the final.

"I think also I'm less stressed", she said. But despite Djokovic holding the overall advantage, Federer has been the king in Cincinnati.

Djokovic served out the set, and then traded breaks with Federer early in the second set.

Djokovic, a five-time finalist in Cincinnati, is aiming to lift the trophy at the sole Masters 1,000 series event he has never won.

"It's been a rollercoaster week with matches and the interruptions with the rain and all that's happened", Djokovic said.

The two tennis greats haven't faced each other in two years because of injuries and time off the circuit.

Mayer had a chance to force a third set, but Federer held on to win his third consecutive meeting with the Argentine as players double up in matches in the rain-delayed tournament.

On Sunday she'll try again against Dutch outsider Kiki Bertens, who will be playing her third final of the season after wearing down a tiring Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Like Djokovic, she's never won the title, losing both of her chances, including the title match previous year to Garbine Muguruza.

"I had a match (point), so I was there", Halep said.

World number 17 Bertens, who played and won two matches on Friday after rain interruptions this week, looked fitter that two-time Wimbledon victor Kvitova in hot, humid conditions.

Known as more of a clay-court player, Bertens has reached a hard-court final for the first time, spending more time getting accustomed to the different style of play. They're back for the 18th shared title match of their careers.

After dropping the second set to Cilic, Djokovic broke to go 3-1 up in the decider, before immediately complaining to the chair umpire about music that was audible from outside centre court.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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