World number 2 Roger Federer will play against Novak Djokovic for the 46th time and the first since the Australian Open 2016 after a 7-6 1-1 win over David Goffin in 62 minutes for his 150th ATP final and the 48th at Masters 1000 level, just one short of Rafael Nadal's record! This will be the eighth Cincinnati final for Roger, never losing any in the past, and the first against Novak since 2015, the last time they both had played in Ohio.
David fought well in his first Cincinnati semi-final, saving three set points in the 12th game of the opening set before losing the tie break 7-3, struggling with an elbow and shoulder injury that forced him to retire in the third game of the second set while leading 40-30, saving another break point in the first game before he decided he has had enough.
Just like in the previous matches, Roger failed to impress but he did enough with his serve to avoid break points and win the crucial points in the tie break that gave him the opening set. Playing against each other for the first time since that Goffin's win at the ATP Finals last year, they have both settled into a nice rhythm right from the start, with Roger holding in the opening game with a service winner and David getting his name on the scoreboard with a forehand winner in game two.
Federer claimed the third game with an ace but he couldn't do much on the return so far, netting a backhand in game four for a 2-2. Another good serve pushed the Swiss 3-2 up but the Belgian was there to fight, bringing the sixth game home at love to stay in touch with the great rival.
Two aces sent Roger over the finish line in game seven but it was soon 4-4 after just 22 minutes, as Goffin held in the following game with a service winner. The first deuce came in the 10th game on Goffin's serve and the Belgian hit two backhand winners to level the score at 5-5, having to dig deep on serve again in game 12.
He saved two break points with winners and another one with a forced error to set up a tie break where he started to feel the troubles, losing serve twice in a row to find himself 4-1 down after two winners from Roger. Two service winners pushed Roger 6-3 in front and he claimed the set when Goffin's forehand finished in the net.
David received a medical timeout on his right elbow and shoulder and he had to retire after missing the first serve in the third game while leading 40-30, sending Roger into his eighth final here. Semi-final result: