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Federer wears down Wawrinka to maintain mastery over compatriot

Last updated on: August 18, 2018 13:07 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer serves against Leonardo Mayer in the Western and Southern tennis Open, at Lindner Family Tennis Center, on Friday. Photograph: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Federer continued his mastery over Stan Wawrinka, but not before getting a fright en route to a 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-2 quarter-final victory at the Cincinnati Masters on Friday.

Federer upped his career record against his Swiss compatriot to 21-3.

A match that started with a low key atmosphere developed into a cracking affair when Federer took the second set tiebreak as lightning reverberated near the stadium.

Play was finally halted two points into the third set.

 

Federer was in a different class once the match resumed after a short delay.

While Federer narrowly avoided an early exit, another high seed was sent packing, as number four Juan Martin del Potro fell to diminutive Belgian David Goffin 7-6(5), 7-6(4).

Goffin closed out a tight match with a backhand winner down the baseline.

His reward is a Saturday evening semi-final against Federer, while the other last four clash will match former world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia against Croatia's Marin Cilic.

It was a busy day for 10th seeded Djokovic, who came from behind to oust defending champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the conclusion of a third round match carried over from Thursday.

Only a couple of hours later, Djokovic stopped Milos Raonic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, improving his career record to a perfect 9-0 against the Canadian.

"I'm very pleased with my fighting spirit and staying mentally tough to overcome deficits in both matches," Djokovic said.

"Obviously the match against Dimitrov yesterday didn't start so well for me. He started tremendously well. We were not the only ones (dealing with interruptions), but it just makes it harder, because you're warming up, you're cooling down.

"We went home around 10.30, came back this morning again to play him, and then (had a) couple hours of rest.

"And to go back on the court again against Raonic, who was serving 140-plus miles (per hour) from the first game, that got me going, for sure, from the beginning."

Former champion Cilic made his way to the semi-finals with a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4 third-round win over Russia's Karen Khachanov before toppling Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(7), 6-4.

Earlier Friday, world number two Federer, bidding for his eighth Cincinnati title, outlasted Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1, 7-6(6) in the third round.

Playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon, Federer lost just four first-serve points and did not face a break point in the match.

Mayer had a chance to force a third set, but Federer held on to win his third consecutive meeting with the Argentine as players double up in matches in the rain-delayed tournament.

Wawrinka beat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-4, 6-3 in their third-round match.

Fourth seed Del Potro overcame Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-2.

Goffin did not face a break point in defeating sixth seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-2, 6-4 in 76 minutes.

Halep into Cincinnati semis after eighth straight win

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Simona Halep returns a shot against Ashleigh Barty. Photograph: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

World number one Simona Halep pulled double duty at the weather-hit Cincinnati Masters, beating Ashleigh Barty then Lesia Tsurenko to claim a place in the semi-finals.

Halep will meet Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday for a place in the final after the unseeded Belarusian saved 10 break points en route to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Madison Keys.

The other semi-final will pit Petra Kvitova against unseeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

After beating Australian Barty 7-5, 6-4 earlier in the day, Halep took her winning streak to eight matches with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Tsurenko, who had triple break point to take a 5-1 lead in the first set but could not capitalise and saw the match swing away from her.

The top seed was unstoppable once she found her rhythm and confidence, winning 11 of the final 12 games to continue her winning streak stretching back to last week's Rogers Cup.

Her semi-final opponent Sabalenka had staved off match points in her two previous matches and managed to do it again on Friday, using her big serve to wriggle out of trouble against 13th seeded Keys.

Eighth seed Kvitova recovered from going down an early break in the third set to beat Belgian Elise Mertens 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.

Bertens trailed 4-1 in the opening set against Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina but it was one-way traffic once the Dutch player's serve clicked into gear and she closed out the match 6-4, 6-3.

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