Roger Federer maintained his impressive run at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-4, 7-6(6), triumph over Andy Murray. The start of the match was reminiscent of Federer’s Wimbledon semi-final clash against Murray earlier this year as he fired some outstanding shots down the line.
The early offensive by the Swiss paid off in the third game as he broke to lead 2-1. The early break was enough to give Federer the first set as an understandably tired Murray failed to get a break point opportunity in the first set against the six-time champion. Leading into the semi-final Federer has spent 3 hours and 11 minutes on the court compared to Murray's 6 hours and 58 minutes.
A first set lead against Murray was still not enough to tame the Brit who saved a match point to beat Grigor Dimitrov earlier this week. Similar to the first set, Federer was still applying pressure against Murray in his service games but the 2013 Wimbledon champion refused to be broken. Federer had a break point opportunity to break for a 4-3 lead, but was unable to convert as a tie-break approached.
At the start of the tie-break a poor backhand error from Murray enabled Federer to grab the mini break and move 3-1 up. The mini break held by the Swiss was erased as an impressive deep return from the Brit against the Federer serve levelled proceedings once again.
The defending champion had his first match point at 6-5, after he produced a deep serve followed by a scream of ‘come on’. Despite the cheering of the crowd, Murray saved the first match point but it wasn’t enough as Federer generated another match point and took it with a forehand smash at the net.
During the match which lasted an hour and 37 minutes, Federer produced 26 winners, won 13/18 points at the net (72%) and claimed 77% of his first service points. The win takes Federer into his 7th final in Cincinnati.
On the six previous occasions he has won all of them, making him the player with the most titles in the tournament in the Open Era. In the next round he will play top seed Novak Djokovic after his epic win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The final will be the 41st time that they have played each other since 2006 with the head-to-head currently at 20-20. It is the third time in the tournament’s history that the two has participated in the final. In the two previous finals (2009 and 2012) Federer has won in straight sets.