Novak Djokovic endured a second frustrating day of rain delays before defeating fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic to reach the final of the Toronto Masters on Saturday.
After having to pause for 90 minutes in the sixth game of their semi-final, Djokovic returned to the court to beat the fifth seed 6-4 6-1.
Djokovic will take a 6-1 record into his Sunday night final with Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who defeated John Isner 7-6 (7-3) 6-3, with the American later withdrawing from the Cincinnati Masters with a bad back.
“We wanted to play and finish the match tonight,” said world No.2 Djokovic, who came away empty-handed from the London Olympics.
“Of course we cannot affect the weather, but it was good to get this match done.
“(The) number one (ranking) is of course a motivation for me, I cannot lie. I want it again.
“But Roger (Federer) deserves it right now, he won Wimbledon and is playing well. We are making each other great players.”
Djokovic, who won his last title in Miami in March, needed one and three-quarter hours to defeat Tipsarevic, who had won two of their past three clashes.
London Olympics doubles bronze medallist Gasquet is hoping to become the first French winner of the tournament in the post-1968 Open era.
The 26-year-old advanced in 80 minutes over Isner in a match played during a dry spell in what has been a miserable three days of rain in the area.
Gasquet was playing in his sixth Masters 1000 semi-final, reaching title matches in Hamburg in 2005 and Toronto a year later. He has six career titles.
Isner said shifting weather patterns dampened his concentration.
“It’s pouring down rain when I arrived to the courts, and next thing you know it stops raining and you get 100 people out there and the courts are ready to go,” said the American.
“I didn’t get to warm up for the match.”
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