Federer, Djokovic in final

Montreal, August 12:

Novak Djokovic downed Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to earn a showdown with Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final.

Federer, the world No 1, took a step toward a third Rogers Cup title with a methodical 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. Federer reached his seventh final in 10 tournaments this year.

The 26-year-old will be going for his 50th title against the third-seeded Djokovic, who has lost to the Swiss ace in all of their four previous matches. Federer has won 16 straight matches at the Rogers Cup, with tournament wins in 2004 and 2006 in Toronto.

Djokovic held off three break points for a 6-5 lead in the opening set, then got a service break to close the set. Djokovic was down 0-40 early in the second, but won a challenge for an ace and went on to hold service again before breaking Nadal’s serve for a 5-3 lead. It was only the second win in seven career meetings with Nadal, but Djokovic has won the last two on hardcourts. Nadal was playing his first hardcourt tournament since March.

EWB Classic

CARSON: Maria Sharapova’s bid for a second title in as many weeks ended with a whimper as the top-seeded Russian withdrew injured before her scheduled semi-final in the East West Bank (EWB) Classic.

Sharapova’s exit sent fourth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova into a final against third-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovich.

Ivanvic’s progress to the final couldn’t have been more different as she had to save two match points en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic. Ivanovic fired 12 aces in the 2hr 28min match and rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third set.