Djokovic closes in on elusive Cincy title


Djokovic is playing his sixth final in Cincinnati - he tied Stefan Edberg at the second place for most finals, just behind Federer - and he would achieve Career Golden Masters by winning the title, it means winning all the current Masters 1000 events on the ATP Tour.

Djokovic, who beat 2016 victor Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to earn his place in the final, leads a rivalry with Federer by a thin 23-22 margin with the Serb winning three of their last four meetings. It was a busy day for 10th seeded Djokovic, who came from behind to oust defending champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the conclusion of a third round match carried over from Thursday.

The Serb saw off the 2014 US Open champion 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to book another match against Federer, with the pair having met 45 times previously. "That's going to be a new experience for me". We played tough match in Queen's, but that's grass and definitely different.

"That's not how I wanted to win, but I'll take it", the Swiss said. Roger Federer stayed on course to add to his record haul in Cincinnati.

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Several days of rain turned the quarterfinals into an endurance test. "But sometimes it's just - it's too strong and you let it out".

Djokovic closed in on a maiden Cincinnati trophy with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Marin Cilic on Saturday. "I got my energy back for the third set, a momentum shift was good for me".

It looked like being the foundation for a comfortable win but Raonic was not giving up so easily and, after ending Djokovic's five-game run, he moved 3-1 ahead in the second set as his forehand again fired with unerring accuracy. I think we're all a bit mentally and maybe physically exhausted but I'm looking forward to this final.

In the women's bracket, the top-ranked Simona Halep beat Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 6-4 early in the afternoon to reach the quarterfinals, then returned a few hours later and knocked off Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-1, raising both arms in triumph at the end of her long day featuring two full matches. Halep is seeking her first Cincinnati championship after losing in the finals past year and 2015. "It was a tough match, but I'm so glad to be in the final".

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Sabalenka, the 20-year-old number 34 who is still seeking a first career title, dropped the opening set on back-to-back double-faults.

While Federer narrowly avoided an early exit, another high seed was sent packing, as number four Juan Martin del Potro fell to diminutive Belgian David Goffin 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

The Czech will face Kiki Bertens after the Dutchwoman defeated Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3.

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