Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 to earn a showdown with Roger Federer in the singles final of the $2,200,000 ATP Roger Masters tennis tournament in Montreal, Canada.
Federer, the world No. 1, took a step towards a third Rogers Cup title with a methodical 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the early semifinal. "Novak's absolutely a tough player at this moment," Federer said. "He's got a good serve and return and he always makes you work hard."
Federer reached his seventh final in 10 tournaments this year. The Rogers Cup is his first tournament since taking his fifth straight Wimbledon title on July 8. "I was very happy with the way I played," he said. "It was a tough match with a lot of crucial points and a lot of shots played on reaction."
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 did not lose a service game against Nadal, and has lost only once on serve in 40 chances in the tournament. But he had to hold off three break points in a long game for a 6-5 lead in the opening set, then got a service break to close the set.
He 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 in the second. It was only his second win in seven career meetings with Nadal.
Bhupathi-Vizner in final
Mahesh Bhupathi and his Czech partner Pavel Vizner upset top seeded Bryan brothers to move into the final of the doubles. Bhupathi and Vizner, seeded eighth, edged past the Americans in an edge-of-the-seat thriller 6-2, 4-6, 12-10 which lasted an hour and seven minutes.
The Indo-Czech pair had to save two match points in the super tie-breaker on their way to the summit clash against fifth seeds Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyet. The Australian-Zimbabwean pair defeated sixth seeded Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 6-2, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
Bhupathi and Vizner were quick off the blocks and dominated the brothers in the opening set. They put relentless pressure on the Americans and capitalised on two of the seven break points they earned. The Indo-Czech pair also saved four break points. The second set was a close affair and the Bryans made use of the only break point to force a super tie-breaker.
Bhupathi and Vizner then held their nerve to prevail in the 22-point decider to seal a spot in the final. They won seven of the eight points on their first serve and three on the first serve of their opponents.
Bhupathi and Vizner saved two consecutive match points at 7-9 in the tie-break and held their first match point. The Bryans levelled the tie-breaker at 10-10 before Bhupathi and Vizner won the final two points.
Los Angeles: Maria Sharapova's bid for a second title in as many weeks ended after the Russian withdrew injured before her scheduled semifinal in a $600,000 WTA hardcourt tournament. her exit sent fourth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova into a final against third-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic.