Cincinnati | Federer finishes marathon day
It was a busy day for a number of players who, because of the weather these past few days, were forced to play two matches within 24-hours to bring the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati back on schedule.
That goal was achieved despite rain despite some further rain interruptions eventually leaving four players to contest the semi-finals of the latest Masters 1000 event.
Waiting around all day and hardly seeing any tennis obviously is never fun for the tournament and the fans, So we’re happy that the tournament is back underway. Roger Federer
Roger Federer will face David Goffin in the bottom half while Djokovic takes on Marin Cilic in the top, all having appeared on court twice during the day and all having been extended at some point.
Roger Federer finally beat Stan Wawrinka in their second match of the day. Earlier Federer had dispatched Leonardo Mayer 6-1 7-6(6) while Wawrinka had made light work of Marton Fucsovics 6-4 6-3.
When the two Swiss nationals met in the evening it proved a testing clash which was highlighted by lightning reverberating nearby during the second set tiebreak. Play was halted two points into the third set but when they returned, it was the second seed who took control to march into the last four 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-2.
“Waiting around all day and hardly seeing any tennis obviously is never fun for the tournament and the fans,” Federer said. “So we’re happy that the tournament is back underway. Today I tried to really focus on just the one match, not thinking that there is possibly going to be two.”
The diminutive David Goffin saw off two big serving opponents in his march to the semis. The Belgian first overcame the sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson comfortably 6-2 6-4 and then the Argentine Tower Juan Martin de Potro 7-6(5) 7-6(4)
In his earlier match Del Potro had eliminated Nick Kyrgios in an excellent match which was marred when, level at two-sets-all, the Argentine kept the Aussie waiting on court for nearly 10-minutes whilst taking a toilet break. Consequently a frustrated Kyrgios virtually ‘tanked’ the third to exit 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 6-2.
Novak Djokovic also suffered a mental meltdown when he smashed his racket to get himself back on track during his meeting with Milos Raonic. It proved a turning point as the Serb recovered during the first set to go on and beat the big Canadian 7-5 4-6 6-3 after two-hours and 30-minutes.
Earlier Djokovic completed his match against the defending champion Grigor Dimitrov. The match, suspended overnight, resumed at 3-all in the third and was brought to a quick end by Djokovic 2-6 6-3 6-4.
“Quite a roller coaster, to be honest,” the 10th seed, who has reached the finals in Cincinnati five times but ever won. Djokovic is trying to become the first to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 championships.
“That’s why I’m here,” he said. “I have plenty of motivation. I’ve put myself in a good position in the semifinals.”
Finally, Marin Cilic finished off his match against Karen Khachanov which had also been suspended overnight, 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 and then went to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(7) 6-4 to complete the semi-final line-up.