Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Djokovic closing in on incredible record

Djokovic closing in on incredible record

Roger Federer advanced to the final of the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters on Saturday as injured opponent David Goffin retired to hand the Swiss a 7-6 (7/3), 1-1 victory.

Elsewhere, former world number one Novak Djokovic also won his second match of the day to set up a semi-final clash with Marin Cilic.

He will now face the challenge of Croatia's Marin Cilic, who completed a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 win over Russia's Karen Khachanov before beating Spain's Pablo Carreno-Busta 7-6, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

Goffin lasted for 62 minutes but needed treatment on his shoulder after losing the first set before packing it in.

One point away from another loss, she had pulled off her biggest win, one that left her as stunned as everyone else.

The final set came down to just a couple of crucial points.

"I could see that he was unhappy, but I thought he was going to play on".

"I had a match (point), so I was there", Halep said.

"I just need to get out there and really fight, I was telling myself to fight", the two-time Wimbledon champion said.

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"I have plenty of motivation".

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.

"Until the last shot I didn't know whether (I was) going to win it or not". Djokovic has a 23-22 head-to-head edge but Federer has won all three of their Cincinnati final meetings.

Federer's late match Friday is against wild-card compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who finished a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Hungarian Marton Fucsovics earlier in the day. "I'm very pleased with my fighting spirit and staying mentally tough to overcome deficits in both matches", Djokovic said.

On the women's side, world number one Simona Halep is hoping it will be third time lucky in Cincinnati after booking her finals berth with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Aryna Sabalenka.

The seven-time champion won the first set 7-6 (3) against Goffin, who was struggling with his serve.

Today she'll try again against Dutch outsider Kiki Bertens, who will be playing her third final of the season after wearing down a tiring Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

His record in OH is mixed, having won all five previous semi-finals, he has gone on to lose all five finals that he has reached, three of those against Federer whom he could line up against on Sunday evening. Just hours before, Djokovic faced Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov in the continuation of his round of 16 match, essentially giving him two wins in just a few hours. "It was a tough match, but I'm so glad to be in the final".

There was little indication they were feeling the residual effects of those exertions, though, as the first set remained on serve.

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