By Benjamin Snyder
The finals in singles and doubles are set with the men making history as the top two, World No. 1 Roger Federer and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, fight for the title for the first time in Cincinnati men’s history. Meanwhile, a compelling story will take place for the women as Li Na plays Angelique Kerber, who snapped Serena Williams’ 19-match winning streak in the quarterfinals.
For the men, Federer and Djokovic will meet in a rematch of the 2010 Western & Southern Open final. Federer is bidding to take home a record fifth title at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. For Djokovic, a win on Sunday would be his first, having made it to the championship round three times previously.
Said Federer after taking out compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, "I'm going to try my best. I hope I'm more recovered than he is. Again, he's had a pretty easy road to the finals here this week."
Federer also lauded the efforts of his opponent, who recently won in Toronto last week. "He's done an amazing effort and great results so far," said Federer. "I hope I can stop his back-to-back victories here at the Masters 1000 level."
Djokovic, meanwhile, said, "Here conditions are quite fast, so I think it's quite suitable to his style of the game. We played so many matches against each other." He continued, "It's always a big challenge when you play a big rival of yours."
In their last meeting, Federer defeated Djokovic in the semifinals of Wimbledon en route to claiming his 17th major title.
For the women, Li Na became the first woman to advance to the singles final, taking out wild card Venus Williams in three sets. The Chinese player has now made two straight Premier-level finals in the same week, having finished as runner-up to Petra Kvitova at Montreal on Monday.
For Venus, the run to final four was her first since 2010. The older Williams sister received treatment for her lower back in the second set and ended up taking five straight games after. In the end, however, Li’s power proved too much for the injured American and she advanced to her fourth final of the year 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in just under two hours.
Said Li after her victory, "Yeah, I know, it's amazing this year, because last two years I never got one point in North America." She continued, "So, yeah, I was happy I can be in the final again."
Venus, meanwhile, praised her opponent’s style of play and recent form in her post-match press conference. "She's really good off the ground. Her whole game is about being consistent and aggressive at the same time," she said. "She's being consistent and aggressive, yeah."
Li will attempt to take home her first title of the season, while Kerber looks to claim her third 2012 WTA championship. The German won at the indoor event in Paris and at Copenhagen this year.