Djokovic commanded a 6-4, 6-1 victory in just 63 minutes and clinched his place in Saturday’s semifinals opposite Alexandr Dolgopolov.
One adversary who will struggle to mount a challenge to Williams is Victoria Azarenka, who had to retire with a strain to her left upper leg when a set up and 0-3 down in her third-round match here against the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The fifth seeds took an hour and 29 minutes to move past French combine of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 1-6, 7-6(5), 13-11 on Thursday.
The tournament in Cincinnati is the only Masters that Djokovic has yet to win.
Williams has the incentive of not only retaining her title at Flushing Meadows but of completing a calendar slam for the first time in 27 years.
With the US Open starting a week from Monday in New York, caution likely played a role in her decision. After dropping the first set, she fell behind 3-4 in the second set. Federer served four aces and won five of 10 break points.
Murray was looking increasingly frustrated with his mistakes, a fact Gasquet used to good effect in another lengthy service game to go 3-2 up.
“She came through the qualies and she beat so many great players along the way”, Jankovic, the 2009 champ, said of AKS.
Serena Williams pumped her fist after each important point and screamed as she smacked another emphatic shot.
Wawrinka was then asked if he was happy with the way that Kyrgios, who lost his opening match in Cincinnati, had apologised for the incident. Three unforced errors in the ninth game, including a double fault for 15-40 and an errant forehand to gift the break, did him in.
Although Djokovic said he no longer has elbow pain, the adjustments he made to cope with the injury slightly altered his serve routine.
“I was lethargic in the first set and she played incredibly well. He obviously didn’t play at his best level, but I felt like I was pretty solid from the back of the court and doing what I needed to do”. In the next game, these two played one of the points of the match at 40-15.
“I’m a little bit empty, mentally, to stay at my top”, Wawrinka admitted. I know and I can see where I am. The 28-year-old has been in fine form in the ongoing tournament as he has dropped only one set in three matches.
Kevin’s lone success in second set was in the third game which he won at love.
He has lost four finals in Cincinnati, two apiece to Andy Murray and Roger Federer. “It’s about defending my title here”.