Djokovic defeats Wawrinka, eyes history

Novak Djokovic waves after defeating Alexander Dolgopolov in their semifinal round match in the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, USA on Aug 22, 2015.
Novak Djokovic waves after defeating Alexander Dolgopolov in their semifinal round match in the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, USA on Aug 22, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

CINCINNATI (Ohio) • Roger Federer and Andy Murray advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP Cincinnati Open in contrasting fashion on Friday, to set up a rematch of their Wimbledon clash.

Federer made quick work of Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in a 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final romp that lasted just over an hour.

Third seed Murray ground out a win against Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 after two hours, having saved a match point in the third set.

"I fought and gave everything I had, but thankfully it's just been enough in the last two days," said the Scot, who lost to Federer in straight sets in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Earlier, top seed Novak Djokovic avenged his French Open final loss to Stan Wawrinka by crushing the Swiss 6-4, 6-1.

The Serb, now two wins away from becoming the first player to win all nine ATP Masters titles, needed a mere 63 minutes to dispatch fifth seed Wawrinka.

The Swiss denied Djokovic a chance to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris but was wayward in Cincinnati, finishing with 33 unforced errors and pushing a backhand wide on match point.

Djokovic, who dropped just 12 points on serve, said: "My performance came at the right time against one of my biggest rivals."

The world No. 1 next faces Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych.

In the women's tournament, defending champion Serena Williams reached the semi-finals after a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over sixth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic.

Williams, who will be chasing a calendar sweep of the four Grand Slams at the US Open, struggled with her serve and was forced to come from behind several times in a rematch of last year's final.

The top seed will next face Ukrainian 14th seed Elina Svitolina, who upset French Open finalist Lucie Safarova 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.

Third seed Simona Halep beat Anna Schmiedlova 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 while Jelena Jankovic defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2 to complete the women's semi-final line-up. REUTERS,

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CINCINNATI OPEN
Women's s-finals: StarHub Ch203, 7am
Men's final: StarHub Ch201, tomorrow, 1am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Djokovic defeats Wawrinka, eyes history'. Print Edition | Subscribe