Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Cincinnati Masters: Novak Djokovic reaches final with victory over Marin Cilic

Cincinnati Masters: Novak Djokovic reaches final with victory over Marin Cilic

The second-ranked Federer has won it an unprecedented seven times, going 7-for-7 in finals.

Federer will play longtime rival Novak Djokovic as the pair meet for the 46th time.

World number 17 Bertens, who played and won two matches on Friday after rain interruptions this week, looked fitter that two-time Wimbledon victor Kvitova in hot, humid conditions.

Still Barty fought back and had a break point in the final game that would have leveled the score at 5-5, but Halep sealed victory with a backhand victor.

Djokovic is 14-2 in his career against Cilic, who won his lone Masters 1000 title at Cincinnati two years ago. He got better as the rainy week went on in Cincinnati, playing his best at the end.

He'll face Marin Cilic, who won twice Friday to reach the semifinals. Her only title this season was at Charleston.

Bertens is an unexpected finalist, winning only one match during three previous appearances in Cincinnati.

Halep has faced the most challenges from the rain, with one match suspended overnight Wednesday and then her third-round match held over for a day as well.

"It was a roller-coaster match", added the Wimbledon champion, who admitted he was distracted my loud music coming from outside the court early in the third set.

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Federer's game was off - 28 unforced errors - and Djokovic took full advantage.

On the women's side, world number one Simona Halep is hoping it will be third time lucky in Cincinnati after booking her finals berth with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Aryna Sabalenka. Fourth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro beat Hyeon Chung 6-2, 6-3, finally completing the second round in late afternoon.

Djokovic was pushed all the way by Cilic, and the overall numbers showed that he won just two more points than his opponent, the 2016 champion in Cincinnati, but it was his ability on the points that mattered that saw him through to a sixth final in the tournament.

"That's not how I wanted to win, but I'll take it", the Swiss said.

"I feel like she missed more than me today", Halep said of Barty.

The Croatian won his only Masters title in Cincinnati and having missed the event past year his run this week meant he was riding a nine-game winning streak.

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

But the weather cleared long enough for del Potro to polish off a 6-2, 6-3 win over the South Korean to set up a meeting with Australian Nick Kyrgios for a place in the quarter-finals - a match originally set for Thursday night but now on tap for Friday. "I'm really happy and I'm looking to go further".

Keys had lost five straight matches against No. 4 Kerber, but turned to her forehand to rally for a 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory.

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