Roger Federer’s US Open preparations have been impressive. And it went from good to better after he reached the finals of Cincinnati Open.
Seven time Cincinnati Open champion Federer faced David Goffin of Belgium in the semi final of the tournament. The Belgian came into the match with renewed confidence after beating Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter final in straight sets. The world number 11 has had an impressive run in the tournament. However world number 2 and record grand-slam holder Roger Federer was too big a mountain to climb for Goffin. And he was neither supported by any amount of luck in the encounter. The Belgian had to retire from the match just after 62 minutes. He sustained an injury in his shoulder and had to leave the game. Federer had taken the first set 7-6 (7/3) and the second set was tied at 1-1 when the unfortunate incident happened.
Erstwhile Novak Djokovic had to work his shocks off in his semi final tie against Marin Cilic. It was an evenly contested match between the Serb and the Croat. Djoker had taken the first set 6-4. But Cilic rallied his way back into the match in the second set. The big Croat showed some grit and fought back to take the second set 6-3. The encounter was perfectly set for the third set with both the men wanting to have a go at Fedex for the auspicious award. Cilic’s dream eventually came to an end after Djokovic proved himself too strong for the 2016 champion. One break was enough for Novak as he won the third set 6-3.
New tournament, but same old rivalry. The rivalry that dates back to 2006 has a new tournament. Federer holds the record of most Cincinnati Open titles with seven. On the other hand, Djokovic has won all the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments except the Cincinnati Open. So it’s going to be history either way. Federer had won the last final here in 2015 in straight sets, while Djokovic leads the head to head against Roger Federer but just by a thin hair. It’s Djokovic 23-22 Federer overall.
The Serb also holds the mental advantage against the Swiss maestro too, winning three of their last four meetings. But history says Djoker has never won here before. He has had five unsuccessful attmepts in the finals of the tournament. The current Wimbledon champion would be hoping that he is sixth time lucky in his bid to win this illustrious championship. But the ever graceful Roger Federer has been too dominant in the tournament. The 37 year old has lost only set in the entirr tournament. The loss of set coming against his fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.
In other news, Women World Number 1 Simona Halep is eyeing a big coup as she takes on Kiki Bertens of Netherlands. The Romanian beat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-4. Halep has lost both the finals she has participated here. Both the losses came in the successive years in 2015 and 2016 against Serena Williams and Garbine Muruguza respectively.
This sunday promises to be an action packed day for all the tennis lovers. Whether Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep can finally get their hands on the Cincinnati Open title remains to be seen.