Top-seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Roger Federer advanced to the Western & Southern Open final in contrasting fashion to set up a rematch of their title-deciding Wimbledon clash.
Serb Djokovic, who beat Federer in the Wimbledon final for a second consecutive year last month, rallied to beat Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 while the Swiss second seed beat third seed Andy Murray 6-4 7-6(6).
Djokovic, who needs a win on Sunday to become the first player to claim all nine ATP Masters titles, lost the first set but escaped a nervy second-set tiebreak in Cincinnati that took the wind out of his 66th-ranked opponent's sails.
In the tiebreak, Djokovic was two points from defeat at 4-5 but dug deep and found a way to escape the jam, ultimately taking the set with a cross-court forehand winner.
Completing the set of ATP Masters titles will be no easy feat for Djokovic with six-times Cincinnati champion Federer standing in his way.
The victory sets up the latest instalment of the Federer-Djokovic rivalry, knotted at 20 wins apiece.
The match will be their fifth meeting in 2015, with Federer winning on the hard courts of Dubai and Djokovic emerging victorious at Indian Wells, Rome and Wimbledon.
|Halep got the better of a former world number one Jankovic in the semi-final [EPA]
In the women's event, Serena Williams brushed off some serving troubles before cruising to a 6-4 6-3 win over Elina Svitolina and will meet Simona Halep in the final.
Williams's serve was off for a second consecutive match in Cincinnati and she committed 34 unforced errors but the world number one was never under serious threat from the 14th-seeded Ukrainian.
"I wanted to not worry about this match, but worry about the next few matches and next few weeks and start playing better for that," Williams said in an on-court interview.
"I got off to a super slow start today but I started going for it and I think that helped me out."
She will defend her title against Romanian Halep who routed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-2 in the late semi-final.