Federer sweeps away competition for 7th ATP Cincinnati Title
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Roger Federer gave himself momentum heading into the US Open with a masterclass 7-6(1) 6-3 victory over world #1 Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati on Sunday. The victory gives Federer seven career titles in Cincinnati, as he repeats as champion, and once more denies Djokovic the lone Masters 1000 title that he lacks.
Federer was aggressive against Novak on the day, and finished the match in just an hour and a half of afternoon play in the warm sunshine. Djokoic, though he reached the final, was clearly less than 100% and his failure to generate a single break point against the Federer serve demonstrated that fact. Normally one of the best returners in the mens’ game, Djokovic was on the defensive from the start, and though he saved seven of eight break point chances in the match, after the first set tiebreak he had a limited chance of engineering a comeback. His poor tiebreak proving to be the defining moment of the match.
Federer choosing to skip Montreal and play just Cincy as a warm up for the US Open seemed to pay off as the fresh veteran #2 seed didn’t drop a set all week in Ohio. He started his title campaign with routine wins over Roberto Bautista Agut and Kevin Anderson, and then rolled past Feliciano Lopez and Montreal champ Andy Murray to reach the final. Lopez had upset Rafael Nadal in the previous round, his best win of the season, and Murray was in good form, but fatigued by the time the semifinal took place.
Djokovic still demonstrated why he’s the world #1 this week, without being entirely healthy and fit, he got past Benoit Paire in straights, David Goffin in three sets, Stan Wawrinka in straights, losing just five games total to his rival, and surprise semifinalist Alexandr Dolgopolov, who posted his best result of the season with a win over Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, but came up just short of upsetting Novak once again this year, losing in three sets, after being up a set and in a second set tiebreak. Both Goffin and Dolgopolov saw their level drop, the closer they got to a potential victory against Djokovic.
Presuming he can gets some rest and recover his health and conditioning, Novak will remain the favorite to take the US Open title, while Federer ensured he’s going to be part of the title conversation with Andy Murray, all of whom had good summers on the US Open Series. Murray also won the 2015 Emirates Airlines US Open Series bonus challenge over Djokovic.
In doubles Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin did one better than their final in Montreal and took the title over fellow veterans Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic.