Djokovic to face Cilic as Cincinnati title dream draws closer

20 August, 2018, 18:55 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's quest for his first Western & Southern Open title ran into a different obstacle Thursday night, with batches of rain forcing his match against defending champion Grigor Dimitrov to be suspended overnight. The only player with better finals results at one tournament is Rafael Nadal, who is 11-0 in both French Open and Barcelona finals. I'm here to enjoy a sport that I love, I've got plenty of motivation. One familiar hurdle: Federer. Cilic missed last year's event with an abductor injury.

Standing in the way of Raonic and the semi-finals is either Djokovic or Dimitrov.

The Romanian was in impressive form throughout the contest to beat her opponent 6-3, 6-4. The conditions are completely different there. Djokovic completed his long recovery from elbow surgery by winning Wimbledon for the fourth time last month. The racket-busting became a turning point.

Federer, a seven-time champion here, will be bidding to increase his tournament leading total, while Djokovic is keen to win the only Masters 1000 tournament missing from his trophy collection. When he closed out the victory Saturday, he walked calmly to the net to congratulate Cilic and then raised both arms in triumph.

Top-ranked Simona Halep plays later, trying to reach the finals for the third time. She won her third title of the season last Sunday in Montreal.

"I did realise he wasn't serving very big", the Swiss told ESPN.

She's expecting a lot of attention at the U.S. Open, where she reached the final a year ago and lost to Sloane Stephens - her best showing in a Grand Slam event.


Play began with three matches held over from the previous night.

Fresh off her second Rogers Cup title, Halep arrived in Cincinnati looking to extend her momentum.

After reaching the final five times and losing every time - three to Federer - Djokovic jumped and punched the air in celebration of his breakthrough.

"I've played five finals here, so that's pretty OK", Djokovic said. In press conference, Cilic praised Djokovic and also complained for how the schedule was made. 'When you get into the match with him, I know that he's gonna be mentally very strong', Cilic recognized.

A week of rain delays and double-duty days wore on players, many of whom wound up playing twice in a day.

Argentinian Del Potro had been taken to three sets by 2017 runner-up Kyrgios in his delayed third-round match, while Goffin ousted Anderson in straight sets. I think we're all a bit mentally and maybe physically exhausted but I'm looking forward to this final. "I was really trying, but nothing".

"I didn't like that music in the first few games of the third set", he said, adding that he planned to watch the Federer-Goffin semi-final on television.

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