Novak Djokovic on Saturday qualified for his sixth Cincinnati Masters final when he edged out Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in an afternoon semi-final.
Serbian Djokovic continued his dominance of Croatian Cilic, winning the 15th consecutive match between the pair, although it was not pretty at times in a contest that stretched for two hours, 32 minutes.
The result sets up the prospect of a mouth-watering final between Djokovic and Roger Federer, one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport.
Djokovic, who has lost all five of his Cincinnati finals, was not at his best against Cilic, but came through on the big points.
“It’s been a rollercoaster week with matches, interruptions, rain delays and everything,” Djokovic said. “Very few points decided a winner and I just managed to pull through.”
After dropping the second set to Cilic, Djokovic broke to go 3-1 up in the decider, before immediately complaining to the chair umpire about music that was audible from outside center court.
It seemed to break Djokovic’s concentration, because he immediately went down 0-40 on serve before digging his way back to deuce, only to lose the game with a weak second serve into the net.
However, Djokovic broke back in the eighth game before serving out clinically to secure victory.
“I didn’t like that music in the first few games of the third set,” he said.
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