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Federer Sets Cincinnati Final Clash With Djokovic

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic avenged his Olympic loss to Juan Martin del Potro.

Roger Federer is certain to go into the US Open with the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking after winning his ninth straight meeting with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(4), 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open on Saturday in Cincinnati.

“The goal has already been achieved by getting back there,” said Federer. “I have to look at the long term, and I would like to stay around for as long as I can. For that reason I have to pace myself at times, but I'm happy I'm playing so well again right off the bat again here in the States. Obviously I hope I can keep it up tomorrow and then also in New York.”

Federer won 75 per cent of his service points, and after failing to convert any of his seven break point opportunities in the first set, he broke Wawrinka twice in the second set to claim victory in one hour and 35 minutes. He is yet to be broken in the tournament.

“I'm happy with how I'm playing. I could have served a bit better to keep me out of a bit more trouble on my own serve,” Federer said. “Then again, I only had to save a couple of break points. Overall I'm actually pretty happy.”

The 31 year old is chasing his fifth title at the Lindner Family Tennis Center following triumphs in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. He is looking to add to season crowns at Wimbledon, Indian Wells, Madrid, Rotterdam and Dubai.

On Sunday, Federer will aim to equal Rafael Nadal's record of winning 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles when he battles Novak Djokovic in the tournament’s first final featuring the Top 2 ranked players on the ATP World Tour. Federer is 15-12 against Djokovic, having won their most recent meeting in this year’s Wimbledon semi-finals.

The second-seeded Djokovic advanced to his fourth final in five years at the event, dismissing sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-2. The Serb broke del Potro three times and saved all six break points he faced to avenge his loss to the Argentine in the bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympics. The 25 year old improved to 5-2 against del Potro and like Federer, has not dropped serve en route to the final.

“[I] try to step into the court and take my chances. It's what I have been trying to do in last couple of years,” said Djokovic. “Obviously sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it's been working quite often for me actually in the last two weeks. I'm happy for that. When you are in the situation of break point down, it makes you focus more and makes you be more aggressive. So that's something that I always look forward to.”

Said del Potro, “I had I think six break points in the match and I didn't take any one. Against Novak or the top players, if you don't take your opportunities, you will lose for sure. I think he played much better than me today basically in the important moments or the break points. He was too good for me.”

Djokovic is bidding to lift his first Cincinnati trophy, having finished runner-up in 2008 (l. to Murray), 2009 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Murray). He is trying to join Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter and Andy Roddick as the only players since 1990 to capture back-to-back titles in Canada and Cincinnati. Djokovic has a 12-9 record in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals and will contest his 49th career ATP World Tour level title match (31-17 mark).

Even if he is victorious, Djokovic cannot regain the top spot in the South African Airways ATP Rankings that he lost to Federer when the Swiss hoisted his 17th Grand Slam trophy at Wimbledon.

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