NOVAK DJOKOVIC LOOKED back to his best on Saturday evening as he disposed of Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to reach the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The world number two broke the Argentine, who defeated him in the Bronze Medal decider at London 2012, three times and fended off six break opportunities on his own serve in the6-3, 6-2 victory.
He will now face Roger Federer, his rival atop the world rankings, in the final on Sunday evening after the Swiss defeated his compatriot Stanislaw Wawrinka 7-6, 6-3.
The Serbian had been in a mini-slump extending from the French Open onward but look to have rediscovered the fire that brought him the Australian Open crown in January and virtual dominance throughout 2011.
He won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last weekend and he will claw back more points on top-ranked Federer if he can claim a maiden title in Cincinnati.
Regaining the focus
Djokovic, a three-time losing finalist at the W&S Open, is delighted with his uptirn in form. He said:
(I) try to step into the court and take my chances. It’s what I have been trying to do in last couple of years. Obviously sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it’s been working quite often for me actually in the last two weeks. I’m happy for that.
“When you are in the situation of break point down, it makes you focus more and makes you be more aggressive. So that’s something that I always look forward to.”
Federer has only ever been defeated once by Wawrinka and, once he had secured the first set in a tie-break, he closed out the contest with some trademark, devastating backhands.
He has a 15-12 career record over Djokovic and won their most recent meeting, at Wimbledon in July.
The Swiss is looking for his fifth title in Cincinnati to add to tournament victories at Wimbledon, Indian Wells, Madrid, Rotterdam and Dubai.