Toronto - Top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat 10th-seeded Gael Monfils
6-3, 6-2 on Saturday night to reach the Rogers Cup final and improve to 12-0
against the Frenchman.
"You do have a certain mental comfort knowing that you have
had plenty of success against your opponent," Djokovic said.
"Nevertheless, that is not a certainty. That's not a guarantee that you
can win the match. Actually, it actually makes him more eager to come out and
play his best tennis."
The winner in 2007, 2011 and 2012 in the hardcourt event that
rotates between Toronto and Montreal, Djokovic will face third-seeded Kei
Nishikori of Japan on Sunday. Nishikori beat second-seeded Stan Wawrinka of
Switzerland 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the first semi-final.
Djokovic is trying to win a record 30th ATP World Tour Masters
1000 title. The 29-year-old Serb has six victories this year and 65 in his
career. He has 12 Grand Slam titles, winning this year in Australia and France.
Monfils was coming off a victory last week in Washington.
"I guess he missed a few shots at the beginning. I got some
opportunities and I took them," Monfils said. "And then suddenly he
was not missing anymore. He was going for his shots and being much better in
the rallies. He became super solid. When Novak is playing like that, it's very
tough to beat him."
Djokovic had six double-faults and one ace.
"I've been working on my serve a lot the last couple of
years, and I think especially on the second serve it has gave me an advantage,
more depth on the second serve and so forth," Djokovic said. "In this
tournament it is not working very well, but in general in past couple of years
it has served me very well."
Nishikori took his fourth straight Memphis title in February for
his 11th ATP Tour victory. He has lost his last eight matches with Djokovic,
the last loss in the Key Biscayne final in April, and is 2-9 overall.
"Haven't beat Novak for a long time on hard court," Nishikori
said. "I think it's going to be a great challenge for me to play Novak
again in the final, because we played in Miami and he dominated the game. So, I
hope I can get revenge this time."
In the doubles semi-finals, Britain's Jamie Murray and Brazil's
Bruno Soares beat Canada's Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-7,
and Croatia's Ivan Dodig and Brazil's Marcelo Melo topped Romania's Florin
Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-4, 6-3.