Federer, Djoker in title clash

Federer, Djoker in title clash

Chinas Li Na halts Venus charge; Bhupathi-Bopanna enter final

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the top two players in the world, set up a showdown for the Cincinnati Masters title after cruising to semifinal victories on Saturday.

The gap between the leading four, which also contains Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, and the chasing pack was again evident as Djokovic beat Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-2 before Federer saw off fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6, 6-3.

World number one Federer is chasing a fifth title in Cincinnati while Djokovic is hoping to claim his first at the Ohio venue.

The Serb has lost in the final three times including last year when he retired injured in the second set against Murray and in 2009 when he was beaten by Federer.

Djokovic avenged his defeat by Del Potro in the bronze-medal match at the London Olympics earlier this month when he powered into his 22nd Masters 1000 final.

A tight first set turned in Djokovic's favour when sixth seed Del Potro, who was unable to capitalise on any of the six break points he had in the match, double-faulted to let his opponent go 4-2 ahead.

It was relatively straightforward in the second set after Djokovic, who won last week's Toronto Masters crown, took advantage of some loose returns to break for a 2-1 lead.
Federer has a 15-12 advantage in matches with Djokovic and won their last meeting in the Wimbledon semifinals last month.

Li in final

China's Li Na defeated an injured Venus Williams 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the final of the Cincinnati Open on Saturday and set up a meeting with German Angelique Kerber.

Wimbledon semifinalist Kerber came through a gruelling 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 win over Czech Petra Kvitova to reach her fourth final of the year and her biggest yet.

Earlier, Venus, playing in her first semifinal since the 2010 US Open, was limited in her serve speed which was hovering around a slow 75 mph mark after picking up a back strain shortly before the match begun.

Hesh-Bops in final

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have earned a chance to win their second title of the season by reaching the summit clash in the men’s doubles competition with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo.

They will now fight it out with fourth seeded pair of Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Romania’s Horia Tecau, who shocked second seed American’s Mike and Bob Bryan 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 10-2 in the other semifinal clash.

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