CINCINNATI: World number one Novak Djokovic claimed his 57th victory of the season with an abbreviated semi-final win over Tomas Berdych to set up a clash against Briton Andy Murray who held off a stiff challenge from American Mardy Fish at the ATP Cincinnati Masters.
Djokovic advanced after taking the first set 7-5 when the eighth seed retired with a sore right shoulder. The Serb will be gunning for his 10th title of 2011 and was excited at the prospect.
“I’m in another final, it’s a great achievement,” he said. “I’ll try to get another title.”
Murray, meanwhile, had to battle hard to hold off Fish before eventually overcoming the American player 6-3, 7-6. The world number four was looking forward to the challenge of playing against Djokovic in the final.
“It would be perfect preparation to play him before the US Open,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good match for both of us.”
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova will take on Jelena Jankovic in the women’s final, with both looking for a momentum-boosting victory heading into the US Open.
Sharapova rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over second-seed Vera Zvonareva, while Jankovic, seeded 13th, defeated German Andrea Petkovic 7-6, 6-1.
The win gives Jankovic a chance for her first title of 2011.
“It means a lot to me to be in the final,” said Jankovic. “I played well. I lost to Petkovic the last two times we played so this is a great win for me.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.
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