Federer, Ferrer to clash in Cincinnati final

Roger Federer secured his berth in a sixth Western & Southern Open final after a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 win against Milos Raonic on Saturday.

The 33 year old Federer next faces 32-year-old Spaniard David Ferrer in the ninth all-Top 10 final of the season. This is the first final between players 30-or-over in Cincinnati in the Open Era and the first time in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. Federer has triumphed in all 15 ATP Head to Head meetings against Ferrer.

"I'm playing much better than last year. I can move freely again," Federer told ESPN after the semi-final. "I'm happy the results show. It's more fun playing this way. Now I am playing the right away.

Tomorrow marks Federer's eighth final of 2014 (2-5 record) and his fourth in a row; the Swiss No. 1 triumphed in Halle and finished runner-up at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic) and the Rogers Cup (l. to Tsonga). The Basel native is looking to capture his 80th tour-level title in his 121st final (79-41), and become the third player in the Open Era with 80-or-more titles (Connors-109, Lendl-94).

"It's great for the confidence to switch from clay to grass to hard courts and keep on playing well. I've had a very complete season so far," added Federer. "This is my eighth final of the season. I hope I can win another final here."

Federer bids to maintain his perfect record in title bouts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, having lifted the trophy here in 2005 (d. Roddick), 2007 (d. Blake), 2009 (d. Djokovic), 2010 (d. Fish) and 2012 (d. Djokovic).

Oldest Open-Era Cincinnati Champions

Federer (33) or Ferrer (32) will add their name to the list of oldest Cincinnati winners in the Open Era:

Winner (Age) - Year

Ken Rosewall (35) - 1970
Andre Agassi (34) - 2004
Marty Riessen (32) - 1974
Roger Federer (31) - 2012

Sunday's final also marks the seventh tournament in which Federer has reached the championship stage on six or more occasions. Federer has contested the Basel final on 10 occasions (5-5); Halle and Wimbledon, each nine (7-2); the ATP World Tour Finals and Dubai each on eight attempts (6-2) and the US Open six times (5-1).

In the semi-final, the second-seeded Federer claimed all 16 of points on his serve in the first set, his game never in danger against the fifth-seeded Raonic.

In the second set, both players held serve until the eighth game, in which Federer clawed back from 0/40 to break the Canadian. The World No. 3 served out the match in the following game to secure his place in the final in 68 minutes.

"I served very poorly tonight, and that's not going to get it done," said Raonic, who served at 43 per cent. "I have to figure out how to step up against the top guys. Roger's been playing great this summer. He's getting better and better with each match. I have to play better in these matches."

Ferrer reached his seventh Masters 1000 final and second on American soil after defeating Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day. The World No. 6 owns a 1-5 record for those finals, including a loss in 2013 to Andy Murray in Miami. This also marks Ferrer's 45th appearance in a final (21-23 record).

"I played very consistently, and got the break, then I could play with calm," he said, calling the match "maybe my best of the week."

"I played without a lot of mistakes but it was difficult to return sometimes."

"Of course I am in a good moment," said Ferrer. "I am in my first final this year in a Masters 1000, so I'm happy for that. I take it step by step and focus for tomorrow."

Ferrer is the sixth Spaniard to reach the Cincinnati final in the Open Era and he is trying to become the third winner after Rafael Nadal (2013) and Carlos Moya (2002). Other Spaniards to reach the final are Juan Gisbert (1971), Manuel Orantes (1973) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2006).

Date: 17th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP


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