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Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Sunday, 22 August 2010 06:59 UK

Roger Federer to take on Mardy Fish in Cincinnati final

Roger Federer
Federer won the Cincinnati title in 2005, 2007 and 2009

Defending champion Roger Federer will take on unseeded American Mardy Fish in the final of the Cincinnati Masters.

Federer eased past Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 6-3 without dropping serve in Saturday's second semi-final.

Fish had earlier battled back from the brink of defeat to beat compatriot Andy Roddick 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in a rain-interrupted match.

"I've never felt better on the court and I've never been more confident and I've never played better," said Fish.

"So I kept that in the back of my head, that I've won a lot of matches this summer."

The start of the first semi-final was delayed by 50 minutes because of bad weather and a heavy shower brought another interruption after nine games.

It was Roddick who took advantage by coming out and breaking straight after the delay to seal the opening set and he then moved 5-2 clear in the second before the rain returned.

I didn't get broken today, so that was a first in this Northern American tour for me

Roger Federer

Despite it only being the briefest of stoppages, this time it was Fish who benefited as he broke to get back in the match and went on to level in the tie-break.

An increasingly frustrated Roddick fell 3-0 down in the decider and Fish saw out the victory to reach his third Masters 1000 final.

"The first one really helped, the second one obviously didn't," said Roddick. "That's the thing with rain delays. The momentum can shift really fast."

And the three-time Cincinnati champion could take the positives from a solid run ahead of the US Open after struggling with a mild case of mononucleosis in recent weeks.

"To get in five really tough matches is more than I could have asked for going into the Open," he said. "When I came here I was thinking maybe two matches and we'll see. I hadn't really put too much time in."

Fish, who defeated Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, is enjoying a fine year and will be hopeful of winning his first Masters title in Sunday's final.

But Federer looked in ominously good form as he saw off Baghdatis - conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the previous round.

"I didn't get broken today, so that was a first in this Northern American tour for me," said the world number two.

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"I thought I played a good match. I was able to mix up my serve well and always kept him off balance. So it kind of worked for me."

The Swiss reached the final in Toronto last week and made it through to the last four this week thanks in part to a bye, a retirement and a walkover in the early rounds.

And the rest has clearly done him good as he dominated against Baghdatis, winning 90% of his first service points.

However, his 5-1 record against Fish includes a defeat to the American in their most recent meeting in Indian Wells in 2008.

"I thought he came out and played the perfect match really," Federer recalled of that encounter.

"It was a good match from his side. I never really got into the match. He seems like he's playing well and he must be confident. I'm ready for that. We'll see how it goes tomorrow."



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see also
Defeat not a match too far - Murray
21 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Fish beats Murray in Cincinnati
20 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray fightback sees off Gulbis
19 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Shaky Murray wins in Cincinnati
18 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Chardy sets up Murray encounter
17 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Fish stuns Roddick to reach final
25 Jul 10 |  Tennis


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