World No. 1 Roger Federer defeated fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-1, 7-5 to win the Cincinnati Masters title on Sunday and cement his status as favorite for the upcoming US Open.
Federer set the tone in the second game of the match, when Djokovic saved six break points but couldn’t ward off the break of serve.
“A good start always helps,” Federer said. “That was the case today.”
When Djokovic held serve in the sixth game of the match he could only look at the sky and smile.
He presented a tougher challenge in the second set but couldn’t capitalize on a set point in the 10th game. Federer earned the key break for a 6-5 lead before serving out the match with a love game.
“The closest I was going to get to the first-place trophy is now,” the world’s fourth-ranked player said on the court immediately following the match.
Federer won his third Cincinnati title after victories in 2005 and 2007. He also captured his 16th Masters crown — second only to Andre Agassi’s career total of 17 in the elite series.
He turned the tables on Djokovic, who had beaten him in two prior meetings this season.
More importantly, the five-time defending US Open champion showed he is on form with the last Grand Slam of the season scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows next Monday.
“The fans for me really turned it around, and that’s why this year I’m so excited going back there,” he said. “I’ve had even better results, so I hope I can again show them what I can do on a tennis court.”
After capturing the Masters title in Madrid, Federer posted milestone victories at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year.
His first French Open title made him just the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam and his triumph over Andy Roddick in an epic Wimbledon final gave him a record 15th career Grand Slam.
After taking a break as he and wife, Mirka, welcomed the birth of twin daughters, Federer then suffered a shock quarter-final defeat at the Montreal Masters against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
This was his first title since his twins were born last month.
“That’s the special part, especially winning for the first time as a dad,” he said. “It gets me going emotionally a little bit, because I know it’s been a wonderful summer.”
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