Federer, Murray in Cincinnati semi-final (Lead)August 22nd, 2009 - 4:04 am ICT by IANS
Cincinnati (Ohio), Aug 22 (DPA) Roger Federer and Andy Murray will line up for a re-match of the US Open final when the top two in the world meet in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters Saturday.
Top seed Federer produced his 13th consecutive win over longtime rival Lleyton Hewitt, going through 6-3, 6-4 in 70 minutes. It was the Swiss player’s 15th win in 22 meetings with the Australian former number one.
Murray saved his Midwest title defence as he carved out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 quarter-final victory over Julien Benneteau on the back of an heroic 53-stroke rally which breathed new life into his game from a set and a break down.
“Everyone can win when you play really good tennis,” said third seed Murray, who took over second in the world on Monday. “It would have been easy to mentally let him beat me.
“This is good for the confidence. The other players see that you’re fighting. This was a big, big match.”
Federer, winner of his 200th career match at the Masters 1000 level, has not lost to Hewitt since Davis Cup in 2003.
The Swiss dominated with 11 aces and one break of serve per set to deal out the 28-year-old Aussie.
“I felt comfortable, I played a solid match,” said the world number one. “Lleyton didn’t play his best but from my side I’m happy to be through.”
Since losing to Federer in the Open final 11 months ago, Murray has gone on a tear, beating Federer twice last autumn and in 2009 in Doha and Indian Wells.
“He’s been on a great run in the Masters event,” said Federer. “I hope we can have a good match. He’s been very consistent and is certainly the best current player on the hardcourts.
“It will be a tough match for me. I have to make sure I come up with the right game plan. I hope I can get the win.”
Murray made his stand in the third game of the second set, with that encounter ending as Benneteau thudded an overhead off the top of the net cord, the ball bouncing out for 2-1 to the Frenchman.
A clinched fist from Murray after the point marked the start of his comeback, with the five-time tournament winner in 2009 levelling the sets at one apiece and then running away in the third for victory.
Murray broke four times in Benneteau’s last six service games.
“You’ve got such little time to react between the shots,” Murray said of the duel. “I realised towards the end of the rally that it was starting to become pretty long. Then your legs start burning.
“But you’re not really thinking anything. You’re just concentrating on where you need to hit the ball.”
Last week’s Montreal champion who is bidding for his third Masters shield of the season improved his record to 53-7 on the season as he aims for a sixth 2009 title Sunday.
In later quarter-finals, Rafael Nadal was facing Czech Tomas Berdych, while fourth seed Novak Djokovic was playing France’s Gilles Simon.
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Tags: aces, andy murray, cincinnati masters, cincinnati ohio, davis cup, doha, final victory, frenchman, game plan, hardcourts, indian wells, julien benneteau, last autumn, lleyton hewitt, longtime rival, roger federer, semi finals, swiss player, third game, title defence