Finalist Djokovic lifts hardcourt win streak to 15
Date published :
18 Aug 2012 - 20:47:07
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic reached his second final in two weeks, beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-2 at the Cincinnati ATP-WTA Masters on Saturday for a 15th hardcourt match win in a row.
The Serbian star will try and back up his Toronto trophy from six days ago on Sunday when he plays the winner of a later all-Swiss match between World No. 1 and top seed Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer is bidding for a fifth career title at the US Midwest venue and his sixth trophy of the season heading into the US Open, which begins August 27.
Reigning US Open champion Djokovic needed just under 90 minutes to advance over an Argentine opponent who was feeling the pain from a left wrist injury and was treated late in the opening set.
The victory was revenge of a sort from a fortnight ago when Del Potro won the London Olympic bronze medal at Djokovic's expense.
The Serbian has been ferocious on serve in recent weeks, saving 60 of his last 66 break points.
"In those situations I focus on each point," Djokovic said. "You have to give 100 percent when you're down BP or have one. I try to concentrate even more.
"I try to go for my shots, step into the court or mix up the serve. It has been working well so far. I know how to cope with pressure and I know what to do."
Djokovic said much of the momentum against sixth seed Del Potro turned on the 11-minute third game of the match, when he saved four break points before finally escaping for 2-1 from a Del Potro error.
"That was a very big game, and at this level very thin margins decide winners," said Djokovic. "We had a lot of long rallies at the start and he had break chances. I think the game marked a momentum shift.
"I held my nerves and played well and delivered the best game when needed."
The Serb earned a break for 4-2 and claimed the opener after 48 minutes. He began the second by breaking for 2-1 and added some insurance for a 5-2 lead.
Djokovic advanced on his second match point. He was in the Cincinnati semis for the fourth time in five years and reached his 49th ATP-level final with his victory. He owns 31 titles, including a dozen at Masters series events.
Del Potro was the first Argentine to reach this far at the tournament since 1972 runner-up Guillermo Vilas.