Djokovic to face Andy Murray in the final
Novak Djokovic was handed straightforward passage into the final of the Western & Southern Open, after Tomas Berdych retired hurt after losing the opening set.
The hot conditions in Cincinnati have gradually taken their toll on all the players still involved in the tournament, with neither man playing at the top of their game on Saturday afternoon. Berdych had called the trainer to attend to a shoulder injury while ahead in the first set, but was convinced to call it a day after eventually succumbing 7-5 to fall behind.
"It's a shame," Djokovic said of Berdych's exit. "Playing many matches this summer is taking its toll. I'm not the fittest guy around, either. I'm feeling pretty much the same injury he has but his is more serious so unfortunately he had to finish."
Berdych, who beat Roger Federer on Friday, began the contest brightly - even moving ahead after securing one of the rarer achievements in the game currently, a break of Djokovic's serve.
But the Czech appeared to be struggling more and more as the games passed by, and decided to preserve his body for the forthcoming US Open once it became clear he would have to go to three sets to beat the Serbian.
Djokovic will now face Andy Murray in the final - a repeat of the 2008 contest that saw the Scot claim his first major Masters series title.
"It's great I'm in another final but I've felt better for sure," Djokovic said. "I will try to recover now for tomorrow's match.
"I hope it is not going to be too hot for both of us. Let's hope for another good match - we have a good rivalry."