Federer and Djokovic to Meet in Western & Southern Open Final
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the 41st time in their career after both men won their semifinals matches Saturday afternoon at the Lindner Tennis Family Center. It will be their third match against each other at the Western & Southern Open with both previous matches being finals won by Federer in 2009 and 2012.
Novak Djokovic is 0-4 career in finals in Cincinnati, not even winning a set in the four finals he has made. It’s the only one of the nine ATP Masters 1000 titles that eludes him. A victory on Sunday would make him the first man to win all nine ATP Masters titles during his career.
For the majority of the first and second sets it looked as though Djokovic would fall short of the final, with qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov using his wide array of shots and unorthodox spin to keep the top ranked player on the ropes, taking the first set 6-4.
As the match went on, the wear and tear of a sixth match in seven days started to show for Dolgopolov. His step became a bit slower and his shot more errant, committing 22 and 20 unforced errors in the second and third sets respectively.
As Dolgopolov’s game dropped, Djokovic’s game steadied and gained momentum as he would take the match 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.
“I gave myself another chance to fight for the trophy,” Djokovic said. “’That was the goal and that was the wish coming here in Cincinnati. Obviously last couple of years, it was always in the back of my mind, the potential history making, and obviously that motivates me even more.”
Federer would continue his very aggressive play again this afternoon as he made quick work of another opponent, this time defeating three-seed Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(6).
A steady service game throughout the match saw the six-time champion never face a break point, only facing three break points all tournament.
Murray, playing his ninth match in two weeks, started slow as he had in his previous two matches and couldn’t get his teeth in the match.
“Today it was a tough one,” Murray said. “I started slowly the last couple of days. Almost got myself back in the match today, and I just didn’t return as well as I would have liked. That was the difference.”
“Yeah, it’s always exciting playing against him,” Federer said of his match in the final against Djokovic. ”At this point if I play Murray or Rafa or Novak there is always a lot at stake. This one in particular he’s going for that golden Masters 1000 sort of shield to win all of them, which would be quite unbelievable, and I could go for my seventh. So a lot the on the line. Look forward to it obviously.”