Federer, Serena, Sharapova Advance to Semifinals in Cincinnati
Five-time champion Roger Federer defeated 8-seed Andy Murray 6-3, 7-5 to make history yet again. With the win, Federer became the first player to have ten Top 10 wins in ten different seasons.
From the start of the match Federer attacked Murray’s serve, specifically the traditionally weaker second serve, earning six break opportunities in the first game alone. Federer would get the break in Murray’s third service game when a Murray crosscourt forehand would sail just inches wide of the far side line. Federer wouldn’t look back as he closed out the first set 6-3.
Throughout the match Federer crashed the net, winning seventeen of twenty seven net points, forcing his match agenda on Murray and kept him in firm control of rallies. Down 0-1 and serving, Murray would make adjustments, breaking Federer twice for a 4-1 lead and pushing for a third set.
Murray showed indecisive in his strategy to attack Federer throughout and it eventually cost him the match. Federer would get the first break back when Murray would rush the net, backtrack to the baseline then commit a forehand error. The second break of Murray’s serve would get the match level would come when the Scot would send another forehand well long.
The game of the match summed up the entire match perfectly: two well-constructed points at the net and an Andy Murray forehand into the tap to seal the deal for Federer.
“Pretty poor tennis from that stage of the match,” Murray said. “I don’t remember hitting very many good shots after the 4-1 game.”
Federer will take on 5-seed Milos Raonic in tomorrow’s second men’s semifinal.
Serena Williams continued her fine form in Cincinnati with a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over 8-seed Jelena Jankovic, sending the world’s top woman through to the semifinals.
Jankovic usually gives Williams trouble with her relentless defense, getting what can seem like every ball back in play. Not today, as there was no fuss and no drama to be had. “Serena played her game and I did nothing to disrupt it,” said Jankovic post-match.
Williams left the match feeling good about the way she has been playing this summer since Wimbledon as she goes for her first Western & Southern Open. Last year she played well en route to the final before losing to Victoria Azarenka.
“Sure, I’d love to win here,” Williams said. “But at the same time, I don’t want to put that pressure on myself. I’m trying to stay pressure-free.”
In a rematch of this year’s French Open final, Maria Sharapova once again defeated Simona Halep 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on a packed Grandstand stadium in Cincinnati.
While the match on the red clay of Paris was a very clean match, this evening’s rematch was anything but. Each woman would have their serve broken eight times; Sharapova committed 27 winners to 53 unforced errors while Halep at 15 winners to 23 unforced errors.
While Sharapova struggled with her serve, committing 11 double faults, she knew she would have her looks at Halep’s serve which, like Sharapova, is not the defining aspect of her game.
Serving for the match at 5-4, 30-all Sharapova remarkable hit her finest second serve of the night before hitting Halep’s return with a forehand winner to set up match point. Saving their best for last, the two women saved their best rally for last, ending with a Halep backhand that sailed just long of the baseline.
If there is one thing you can’t question about Maria Sharapova, it is her mental toughness and will to win, despite a mediocre night of play.
The Men’s Semifinals are as followed:  David Ferrer v Julien Benneteau  Roger Federer v  Milos Raonic
The Women’s Semifinals are as followed:  Serena Williams v  Caroline Wozniacki  Maria Sharapova v  Ana Ivanovic