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Roger Federer captured a record 5th title at Cincinnati defeating World No.2 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6 (7). In a match of two halves, Federer blitzed a shell-shocked Djokovic in a 20 minute first set before edging an increasingly competitive tussle in a second set tie break. The victory gave Federer his 21st Masters Series Shield tying Rafael Nadal for the most Masters crowns. For Djokovic, this was yet another failed attempt at the Cincinnati title having lost here in the final on three previous occasions. The Serb fought gamely in the second set, but couldnâ€™t quite close the deal against a Federer who raised his game at the right time late in the match to capture a facile victory.
Federer was pleased with the crowd support and recognised their contribution in his victory. The winner was pleased with his transition to the hard courts and was extremely pleased with his 5th Cincy championship. The title was Federerâ€™s 76th on the ATP tour, just behind John McEnroe who is third on the all-time list with 77. The win puts Federer in a superb position for the US Open which begins on the 27th of August in New York.
Djokovic opened the final in a tournament where neither man had lost serve. When he served an ace to open it up, it looked like situation normal but that was soon to change. A loose forehand and a double fault from Novak Djokovic gave Federer the early break point and another forehand sent wide gave Federer the early break. Federer then stepped up to consolidate the break serving a brace of aces in the process. Djokovic in comparison just struggled to get going. Another poor service game ended in a double fault that gave Federer an insurance break for a perfect start. If you blinked you would have missed the fourth game as Federer hammered down 3 aces open up a 4-0 lead. Federerâ€™s forehand was looking sharp and he was showing a willingness to be offensive and come forward in what were ominous signs. The 4 time champion broke Djokovic with yet another forehand winner to race into a 5-0 lead. Federer serving for the set looked commanding to the extent that he was toying with the World No.2 hitting a rasping forehand winner to blitz the set 6-0 in just 20minutes. The World No.1 dropped just 9 points in the set, hitting 13 winners and was a 100% at the net in the first ever bagel (6-0) set between the pair.
Djokovic began the second set knowing that he had to quickly work his way into the match and he took his first steps by holding serve to begin the second set. Federer too seemed to have that first set bubble slightly punctured as the Maestro came down a notch from the exhilarating heights of the first set as he made a few more errors than earlier in the match. Djokovic meanwhile was beginning to get into the match with his famed baseline game began to assert itself. Rogerâ€™s serve remained an ally though and the set stayed on serve, 2-2. The match was now beginning to get competitive â€“ one could hear the effort Djokovic put into his shots while Federer was now regaining his focus of set one. This resulted in some highlight reel points highlighted by one particular instance when Federer in game six rushed in and handled an awkward shoelace pickup by threading it over for a delectable winner. Djokovic while nowhere as spectacular held on to his serve to push the set towards the business end as he forced Federer to serve to stay in the set at 4-5. Federer stayed firm not once but twice as he held on to take the set to the almost inevitable conclusion of a tie-break.
Federer took the early advantage in the tie-break picking off another incredible shoelace half-volley that was too good for even the fleet Djokovic before taking care of his own serve to go up 3-0. Djokovic though just refused to fade away and he mounted a mini comeback of his own to restore parity at 3-3 with a superb deep return that forced a Federer error. A superb sequence of passes then gave the Serb the 4-3 advantage pumping his fist as he pumped himself up. A loose forehand by Djokovic gave Federer the mini break back, before two big Federer serves gave him his first matchpoint at 6-5. Djokovic played two superb points off his own serve in response to go ahead 7-6 creating his first set point. It wasnâ€™t to be as a smash and Federerâ€™s favourite serve-forehand combination gave him his second matchpoint. This time the Swiss converted with his 28th winner past a stationary Djokovic to take his 21st Masters Series Shield.
R.Federer d N.Djokovic 6/0, 7/6(7)
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