Roger Fed­erer downs Novak Djokovic to win his 7th Cincinnati Mas­ters ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Roger Fed­erer moved into pole po­si­tion for a U.S. Open ti­tle run on Sun­day, cap­tur­ing his sev­enth Cincinnati Mas­ters with a dom­i­nant 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 win over Novak Djokovic.

The 34- year- old Swiss star added the Ser­bian world No. 1 to a vic­tims’ list which in­cluded Andy Mur­ray in the semi­fi­nals, cap­ping a near-per­fect week for the 17-time Grand Slam win­ner.

Fed­erer was play­ing his first tour­na­ment since fall­ing to Djokovic in the Wim­ble­don fi­nal.

He passed up the Mon­treal Mas­ters won by Mur­ray last week, pre­fer­ring to rest and pre­pare at home.

“It’s great, I didn’t ex­pect it, to be quite hon­est. I knew I had a chance, but I still felt more guys were go­ing to have a bet­ter shot than I had be­cause they had played Mon­treal be­fore,” Fed­erer said.

“Usu­ally that helps. But I’ve re­al­ized over all the years that it’s just re­ally dif­fi­cult to win back-to­back Mon­treal and Cincinnati, or Toronto and Cincinnati.

“I chose to roll the dice a lit­tle bit and see how things were go­ing to go. If they went great here then it was a great plan.

“If not, I was go­ing to go back and prac­tice and be re­ally mo­ti­vated for the U.S. Open to start.”

The gam­ble paid off for Fed­erer, who needed 90 min­utes to sub­due Djokovic.

With the win he takes back the world No. 2 rank­ing Mur­ray seized for a week and will be seeded sec­ond be­hind Djokovic at Flush­ing Mead­ows for the sea­son’s con­clud­ing Grand Slam which starts on Aug. 31.

Fed­erer claimed his 87th ca­reer ATP ti­tle and his 24th tro­phy in a Mas­ters 1000 event.

Djokovic, mean­while, was thwarted in his bid to be­come the first man to win all nine of the elite Mas­ters 1000 ti­tles as he en­dured his fifth fi­nal de­feat at Cincinnati — the lone Mas­ters miss­ing from his re­sume.

The Ser­bian world No. 1 has now fallen in the fi­nal of both of his tune-up events for the U.S. Open, hav­ing lost to Mur­ray in Mon­treal.

He didn’t muster a break point against Fed­erer, whose su­pe­ri­or­ity was clear in the first-set tiebreaker.

Fed­erer’s va­ri­ety of shots in­cluded an ag­gres­sive re­turn on se­lected sec­ond serves, in which he ad­vanced al­most to the ser­vice line to sur­prise the Serb.

Af­ter seiz­ing a 4-1 lead in the sec­ond set, Fed­erer gave him­self three match points with his sev­enth ace of the con­test and con­verted on the first to the cheers of a par­ti­san crowd.

The 34-year-old — who wasn’t bro­ken all week — nudged ahead of Djokovic 21-20 in their head-to­head se­ries.

Fed­erer ‘just bet­ter’

“I think we re­ally get the best out of each other, we’ve im­proved a lot over the years play­ing each other,” Fed­erer said.

Af­ter strug­gling all week, Djokovic said he knew Fed­erer would be a tough nut to crack.

“I knew com­ing in that he was go­ing to be ag­gres­sive, no ques­tion about it. So I tried to han­dle it,” he said.

“I did well un­til the tiebreak in the first set. Af­ter that, he was just the bet­ter player. I had some dou­ble­faults, dropped my ser­vice game.

“The way I played this week, it’s great I man­aged to reach the fi­nals.”

Djokovic isn’t giv­ing up on his Cincinnati dream.

“This year I got to the fi­nal, it’s a step closer,” he said. “I’m go­ing to keep go­ing, keep fight­ing to make history.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s a great in­cen­tive and inspired me to come back and play my best ten­nis.”

Fed­erer fancies his chances at the U.S. Open in New York, where he won the last of his five ti­tles in 2008.

“I’ve got the con­fi­dence, I’ve got the matches, and I’m ac­tu­ally still feel­ing re­ally fresh even af­ter this week, be­cause the matches have been rather short,” he said.

“Be­cause I didn’t play both tour­na­ments (Mon­treal and Cincinnati), I can re­ally pace my­self next week and see how much prac­tice I ac­tu­ally re­ally need.”

AP

Novak Djokovic, of Ser­bia, holds his run­ner-up tro­phy af­ter Roger Fed­erer, fore­ground, of Switzer­land, won the men’s fi­nal at the Western & South­ern Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Ma­son, Ohio, Sun­day, Aug. 23.

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