MASON – Novak Djokovic
reached his second straight Western & Southern Financial Group Masters final with a 6-1 6-4 win over Rafael Nadal
on Saturday night.
Djokovic, the fourth ranked player in the world, will take on World No. 1 Roger Federer
in Sunday’s final at 12:30 p.m. Federer had defeated Andy Murray
earlier on Saturday. (Read More
With his win Saturday, Djokovic became the first player to reach back-to-back finals in Cincinnati since Andy Roddick
finished as runner-up in 2005 and won the title in 2006.
"This has been one of the best matches in the season so far," Djokovic said following the win over Nadal.
On Saturday, Djokovic converted on each of the first two break points he got in the match, in the fourth and sixth games of the first set, and won it in just 29 minutes.
Nadal battled through three break points in the opening game of the second set, but managed to hold.
Djokovic got another break chance in the fifth game of the second set, and promptly converted to take a 3-2 lead.
Serving at 4-3, Djokovic faced his first break point of the match, but stayed on the baseline while moving Nadal side-to-side several feet behind the baseline to control the point and eventually hold serve.
"Djokovic played with very high intensity," Nadal said. "And for me it was a little bit hard to keep at this intensity all the time."
This marks the second year in a row that Djokovic has reached the final without dropping a set.
Federer leads the all-time series against Djokovic 7-4, although they have split their previous meetings in championship matches. Federer won the 2007 US Open over Djokovic just weeks after the Serb claimed the title over Federer at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Montreal.
"With Roger, the points are shorter, so if he plays the way he was playing in most of the year so far, it's gonna be really difficult," Djokovic said.
Djokovic has won both meetings between the players in 2009.