Murray sets up Federer semi-final in Cincinnati

Straight-sets win for Federer but Murray needed three sets to set up a rematch of this year's Wimbledon semi-final.

    Federer remains on course to meet Djokovic in the final [AP]
    Federer remains on course to meet Djokovic in the final [AP]

    Roger Federer and Andy Murray advanced to the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in contrasting fashion to set up a rematch of their Wimbledon clash.

    Federer made quick work of Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in a 6-3 6-4 quarter-final romp that lasted just over an hour.

    Murray needed to grind out another win against Richard Gasquet, outlasting the Frenchman 4-6 6-1 6-4 after two hours.

    Third seed Murray saved a match point in the third set and fought fatigue to win his second straight three-set battle.

    "I fought and gave everything I had, but thankfully it's just been enough in the last two days," Murray, who lost to Federer in straight sets in the Wimbledon semi-finals, told reporters.

    Earlier, top seed Novak Djokovic avenged his French Open final loss to Stan Wawrinka by crushing the Swiss 6-4 6-1.

    Ivanovic, a former world number one, failed to stop current world number one Williams [EPA]

    In the ladies event, defending champion Serena Williams reached the semi-finals but not before having her mettle tested in a 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over sixth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic.

    Williams, who will be chasing a calendar sweep of the four grand slams at the US Open, struggled with her serve and was forced to come from behind several times in a rematch of last year's final.

    "Out of the previous nine times we've played I think we've gone three sets at least six times so I know she plays really well," the top-seeded American said in an on-court interview.

    "She's been number one, she's won a grand slam. I knew it was going to be a big test for me today and I'm really happy I was able to get through."

    Up next for Williams will be 14th-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a 6-4 2-6 6-0 winner over Czech Lucie Safarova, seeded seven.

    In Friday's other quarter-finals, third-seeded Romanian Simona Halep dispatched Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 6-2.

    She will now face a semi-final against Serbian Jelena Jankovic who beat Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-2.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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