MASON – For the third time in five years, Roger Federer
has reached the finals at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, advancing on Saturday after downing defending champion Andy Murray
Federer, the World No. 1, never faced a break point in the match against the World No. 2.
Federer broke Murray in the fourth game of the match to go up 3-1, and after holding, put Murray into a Love-40 deficit. But the Scot rallied and won five straight points to come away with a hold.
In the final game of the set, Federer won a challenge to break Murray and claim the set 6-2.
In the second set, neither player forced a break point, and the games got to deuce just twice, both on Murray’s serve.
In the tie-break, Federer raced to a 4-1 lead, but it was Murray who fired an ace to get the first set point at 6-5.
Federer faced a total of two set points, but both were on his serve, and on the second match point, Murray double faulted to hand Federer the win.
"I stayed aggressive," Federer said after the match. "I was always looking to make the plays, and I think in the end I deserved to win just because I wasn't scared to go after my shots, you know. And I think I served well today."
"If you let Roger play well, then he's very, very difficult to beat," Murray said. "I mean, the first set, you know I was leaving the ball short and giving him a lot of second serves to look at and not making a whole a lot of returns, so therefore unable to put any pressure on him."
The 2005 and 2007 champion in Cincinnati, Federer will play either Rafael Nadal
or Novak Djokovic
in the final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Nadal leads the all-time series with Federer 13-7, but Federer owns a 7-4 edge in all-time meetings with Djokovic.
Federer will be attempting to become the fourth player in the Open Era to win the Cincinnati title at least three times, joining four-time winner Mats Wilander ('93, '84, '86, '88), Andre Agassi ('95, '96, '04) and Pete Sampras ('92, '97, '99).