Federer books Djokovic showdown in Cincinnati

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Roger Federer will take on Novak Djokovic in the final of the Cincinnati Masters after he beat Andy Murray in straight sets 6-4 7-6 (8/6).

World number three Federer, who is chasing his seventh Cincinnati title, broke Murray early and was impressive as he took 38 minutes to claim the first set.

The second set was much closer, going with serve to a tie-break which the 34-year-old won.

“It would be great to win another Masters 1000, especially here in Cincinnati,” Federer told atpworldtour.com. “Going for my seventh here is just great. It’s wonderful to be another finalist because coming here now I’m perfectly prepared for the final.

“I’ve been practising and away from the game since Wimbledon. It’s not that long, but in tennis terms one month is a long time. I’ll give it all I have tomorrow. It’s going to be tough. Couldn’t ask for a tougher opponent than Novak.

“Hopefully I can take advantage of the fact that I’m fresh and ready to go.”

Murray, who has not beaten Federer since the Australian Open in 2013, will now turn his attention to the US Open which begins on August 31.

The Scot said: “I feel okay. I’ve done well to recover from some tough matches. It’s good.

“The positive about losing today is I get the opportunity to have an extra days’ rest and recovery. I need that.”

Earlier, Djokovic booked his place in the final by beating Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in three sets.

Djokovic lost the first set to the world number 66 – as he had in Miami earlier this year – but battled back to claim a 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 victory.

Cincinnati is the only ATP 1000 Masters title that the Serbian has yet to win and he will be looking to put four previous losses in the title match behind him.

Defending women’s champion Serena Williams will tackle Simona Halep in the final after battling from behind to beat rising star Elina Svitolina.

The 14th seed plundered a 3-1 lead in the first set but world number one Williams soon sprang into action, winning 11 of the next games to triumph 6-4 6-3.

“It’s my third final in a row here, and it feels good to be back in the final!” Williams told wtatennis.com. “She (Svitolina) was playing so well today, so I just tried to stay focused and stay aggressive, and I’m happy I won.

“To be honest I’m happy just to still be in the tournament. It’s really exciting for me.”

Halep reached her first Cincinnati final with a convincing 6-1 6-2 victory over former world number one Jelena Jankovic, a victory that will elevate her to second in the WTA rankings no matter what happens against Williams.

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