Semifinal Saturday is turning out to be a star-studded day, with the world’s number one player and a former number one competing to move into the finals of the Western & Southern Open tournament.
But no matter who makes it to Sunday, it’s already been a record tournament at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Friday’s attendance of 24,184 fans broke the single day all-time tournament record, with more expected for the final two days of action.
On the men’s side, four-time Western & Southern Open winner Roger Federer is looking for his fifth win here, the last one coming in 2010. To make it to the finals, he’ll have to face countryman Stanislas Wawrinka. Federer is 10-1 all-time against Wawrinka.
Federer made the semis by defeating 10th seed Mardy Fish in straight sets Friday evening, the eighth time in nine matches he’s defeated the American. Wawrinka is playing on Saturday after a Friday win over 19th ranked Milos Raonic in three sets.
On the women’s side, Angelique Kerber, who’s spending the week blogging for the WTA, is around to blog through the semis, as she defeated second seed Serena Williams in straight sets. Kerber will play Petra Kvitova, who has won eight matches in a row—she went 5-0 to win the title last week in Montreal, and she’s 3-0 so far in the W&S Open field.
Even though Serena is out of the tournament, she is sticking around to watch her sister Venus, who received a wild card entry, play Li Na for a berth in the finals. Venus is climbing back into championship form to reach her first semifinal since returning to the tour in March, defeating the reigning US Open champion Sam Stosur in three sets.
Li Na had to double dip on Friday, first, finishing her rain-shortened match against Johanna Larsson to advance in straight sets, then taking out top seeded Agnieszka Radwanska at night, 6-1 6-1. Li has defeated Venus in both of their previous meetings.
After Friday’s record crowds, another big crowd is expected for Saturday’s semifinals. Tickets are still available for the evening women’s session through cincytennis.com.