Roger Federer booked his spot in the Rogers Cup final with 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic on Saturday night.
Federer will meet defending-champion Andy Murray of Britain, who defeated top-ranked Rafael Nadal earlier in the day.
The No. 3-ranked Swiss master improved to 10-5 all-time (8-4 on hardcourt) against the 23-year-old Djokovic, who won the Rogers Cup title in his debut appearance in 2007.
He also raised his ranking to No. 2 on the ATP Tour, dropping Djokovic to a spot below.
Federer broke serve early in the first set to go up 2-0, looking dominant with sharp cross-court forehands. He aced a fourth straight point to hold serve and take a 3-0 lead, putting Djokovic on his heels. The Serb pulled one back in the next game but couldn't fend off Federer's pressure, committing multiple unforced errors to lose the first set decisively.
Federer opened the second with a break point, setting the tone for what looked to be an rout. His forehand continued to create havoc for Djokovic, who dashed from corner to corner to pull himself out of a hole, level the score 2-2 with a much-needed break point, and hold serve to go up a game.
Federer pulled even in the sixth game with sharp-angled shots, but Djokovic fought hard in a marathon seventh to retake the lead 4-3. Djokovic collected his second break in the next game, and then held serve to force a third set as Federer appeared vexed by the Serb.
As daylight faded at Rexall so did Djokovic's momentum. Federer broke serve then held for a 4-1 advantage in the third, but Djokovic rallied once again to level at 5-5 as the crowd grew electric with each point.
Djokovic's emotions got the best of him just before dropping the 11th game, smashing his racket with verve before his elimination was sealed in the next and deciding game at the US$2.43-million ATP event.
Oh, the drama!. Just when it looked like Roger would run away with the match, and have an easy time of it.
With Djokovic holding serve only once in the 1st set and Federer being up 2-0 in the second.
Roger took his foot off the tight control he had up to that point which allowed Djokovic to relax and finally start hitting his shots.
Which he kept missing the entire first set.
At 2-0 I thought I would be able to breathe easy and that Roger basically had it in the bag, but no all of a sudden it was Roger who started shanking his forehands and missing shots.
The second and third sets were a complete see-saw affair right up to the very last game.
The crowd certainly got their money's worth from a first set that took just under 30 minutes to a total 2 hours and 22 minutes of play.
I hope Roger gets lots of rest tonight, since Murray is sure to have a bit more in the tank beating Nadal in straight sets
I think if Federer wants to win against Murray tomorrow he will have to be relentless, and not have a repeat of what happened with this match.
And to think this is just the Masters 1000 event. With Cincinnati and U.S. Open still to come I may have to invest in an oxygen tank :D.
I get the feeling tomorrow will be another hair-puller.
With all this constant drama on the men's side I'm ready for the women in Montreal where I know I'm guaranteed little to no drama.
Plus let's face it who's really that excited about the women's line up these days?.
Certainly not me. Even with Kim Clijsters, who I'm not even sure is playing.