Novak Djokovic was forced to come from behind to reach the Cincinnati Masters final with a 4-6 7-6 6-2 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Djokovic, seeking a 20th ATP Masters 1000 title, will face the victor of the second semi-final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer – on at the time of going to the Press.
He’s trying to become the first player to win all nine ATP Masters events in a career. The defending champion is trying for an unprecedented seventh title in Cincinnati. Federer is 13-11 against Murray and has won their last four matches, including a straight-set win in the semifinals at Wimbledon this year.
“It was a solid first set, but whatever happened in the next 45 minutes – I don’t want to remember it”, Djokovic said.
“I just decided that if I wanted to stay out here and keep playing I had to pick my game up a level”, said Williams who now has a 9-1 career record against Ivanovic.
Bencic will meet with her team before deciding whether she can play in the Connecticut Open next week, the final tournament before August 31-Sept.
It looked like the break may have been only an early scare when Djokovic hit back to make it 3-3, but he immediately handed the advantage back to the Ukrainian in the next game.
The second seed lost just four points on serve in the opening set as he steamrolled through his matches in what will be his lone tune-up for the Open which begins a week from tomorrow. “Yeah, I did well to come through that one because I wasn’t feeling great last night”.
“I got a little bit unlucky when I was serving at 4-3 [in the second set]”, Ivanovic said.
“[I’m] obviously exhausted. Played a lot of matches, a lot of late nights where my recovery hasn’t been ideal either”, said Murray, who saved a match point and needed three hours to take out Grigor Dimitrov in the previous round.
“The positive about losing today is I get the opportunity to have an extra days’ rest and recovery”.
“It’s my third final in a row here, and it feels good to be back in the final!”
With the US Open starting a week from Monday in New York, caution likely played a role in her decision.
Up next for Williams will be 14th-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 victor over Czech Lucie Safarova, seeded seven.
She will now face a semi-final against Serbian Jelena Jankovic who beat Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4, 6-2.