In the first championship match at the Western & Southern Open to feature the World No. 1 and World No. 2 players on the men’s side, Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic in a rematch of their 2009 Cincinnati final.
Federer, who comes to the Lindner Family Tennis Center fresh from winning his 17th major title at Wimbledon and a silver medal at the London Olympics, took out his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets. He’ll have a shot at claiming his fifth Cincinnati crown on Sunday in his 108th Tour final.
After the win over his doubles partner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and regarding his attempt at winning a record fifth Cincinnati title, Federer said, "It's a nice bonus, really. When I was a kid I wasn't thinking of winning five Cincinnatis, but then again here I am in this great situation being able to do it, the first man ever."
In defeat, Wawrinka expressed content with his play over the course of the week. "Today was a good match for me. I think was playing good," he said. "It's never easy to lose, but Roger is the No. 1."
The World No. 2 Djokovic also advanced on a day featuring semifinal action at the Western & Southern Open. In a London Olympics bronze medal rematch with Juan Martin del Potro, the five-time major champion successfully defended all six break points against him, while staving off the Argentine’s booming forehand. He secured three of his own to win in just under 90 minutes on Center Court.
With the 6-3, 6-2 victory, the Serb is into his fourth Cincinnati final, having notched that result in 2008, 2009, and 2011. Said Djokovic about his form so far in the tournament, "Yeah, I’m very happy. I mean, last two matches have been really, really good, maybe the best two hard court matches I've played in last two weeks."
Additionally, Djokovic is bidding to claim his second straight ATP Tour Masters 1000 win with a victory, having won Toronto last week. This is his 49th appearance in an ATP World Tour level final.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, was the first Argentine to reach the Cincinnati semifinals since Guillermo Vilas got to the final in 1972.
About the loss, he told reporters, "I think he play much better than me today basically in the important moments or the break points. He was too good for me."
In doubles, the No. 6 seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna advanced to the championship match, taking out Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 6-3. Their opponents in the final will be three-time Wimbledon runners-up Horia Tecau and Robert Lindstedt, winners over London gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan in a match tiebreaker.