Ash Barty, Novak Djokovic lose in semifinals in Ohio

MASON, Ohio — Ash Barty’s chance to move back to No. 1 was only one victory away. At the end of an up-and-down week, she didn’t have another comeback left.

Neither did Novak Djokovic, who came away with yet another disappointment near Cincinnati.

Barty lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Saturday. Djokovic ended the day with another stunner, getting overwhelmed by Daniil Medvedev’s serve as the Russian pulled out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

A resurgent Kuznetsova gave Barty no openings, knocking off a top-five player for the second time this week to reach her first final of the season. The 153rd-ranked player is recovering from seven-month layoff because of a knee injury.

“Well, sometimes in life it’s like this,” Kuznetsova said. “It’s like really small things change everything. Definitely it’s different momentum I have now.”

She’ll face Madison Keys , who beat Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-4 with the help of 14 aces. Keys ended her streak of failing to make it past the second round of her last three tournaments, playing through heat and humidity all week without problem.

In the men’s bracket, Djokovic overcame concerns about his right elbow but couldn’t prevail over Medvedev’s 14 aces, some of them on 128 mph second serves. Djokovic had to problem with his right elbow, which tightened on Friday night.

“I see mostly positives in my game,” Djokovic said. “Today I did lose a match, but I didn’t do too much wrong. I lost to a player who was playing amazing.”

Medvedev will face David Goffin, who reached his first Masters 1000 final by defeating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4.

Joe Kay is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ash-Barty-Novak-Djokovic-lose-in-semifinals-in-14341067.php.

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