Boom, game set match Federer as he took down his fifth ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 title beating Djokovic 6-0 7-6 (7) in a strange, but highly entertaining match. What can you say other than JesusFed™?
It capped off a peRFect week for Roger as he played some stellar stuff throughout the week , extended his number 1 ranking and now heads into New York with a very very good chance of winning the US Open.
As I tweeted before the match I wasn't too fussed about the outcome today as the work had already been done in securing the number 1 but of course I wanted Fed to get the win. I also said in my prediction after the Wawrinka match that I thought Roger would blitz the first set and then win the second on a breaker and that's exactly what happened so lets take a look.
First Set – Novak Sleeps
The first set was what I can only describe as strange, I fancied Roger to get an early break but when Djokovic came out and played one of the sloppiest service games I've seen lately even I was shocked. To top it off he hadn't been broken all tournament yet he chucked in a double fault and then pushed a lackluster forehand wide on break point to allow Roger to get off to the perfect start.
The first set didn't get much better for Djoker as he was broken again in his very next service game, this time double faulting on break point to give Roger an almost unassailable lead (this isn't clay ;))
At 4-0 Roger broke again and served out the set to record the first bagel between the pair ever in 28 meetings. Sweet!
If anything the first set was too easy for Roger, he served really well (5 aces) but other than that he just had to keep the ball in play and either Djokovic made an error or Roger pushed him so far behind the baseline and eventually came up with a winner. Obviously 4 double faults from Novak didn't help either, I mean that's an entire game donated in double faults, put that on top of 10 unforced errors and you know you're in trouble.
Second Set – A Closer Affair
I think in the first game of the second set Fed got 0-15 on Djokovic's second serve, I thought at that point if he broke the game was over but Djokovic held and I instantly had a tight 7-5/tie break type set on my mind.
As the set wore on Djokovic started to find his form, he was going for way more on his ground strokes and two forehands on the run that flew past Fed stuck in my mind. Really because that's evidence of what he can do and the fact he was starting to pick up the pace a little just when Roger was ever so slightly taking his foot off the gas.
At 4-5, Roger had his first real test, I think he was at 15-30 and played a great point to avoid slipping down two break points and subsequently held. 6-6 then came around in no time and we had a tie break that based on the last 15/20 minutes of play could be won by either man.
Just like the first set Roger got off to a great start with a dreamy half volley pickup from his toes to get a mini break as he moved into a 3-0 lead. This time around though there'd be no bagels as Djokovic hit back to reel off the next 4 points and hold a mini break of his own.
For a minute you thought Djokovic might just edge away with 2 of his own serves to come but he too handed it straight back. Federer then served two unreturnable serves to create match point at 6-5, Djokovic came up with the goods though as Roger played a little passively. At 6-7 the pressure was on Roger and he responded in true GOAT fashion with two great points to get another match point which this time he capitalised on with a great return of serve followed up with a half court forehand winner. Allez!
Key Stats From the Week in Cincy
- 21 Masters Titles
- 5 Cincinnati Masters 1000 Titles
- Didn't drop serve all week
- No break points faced in the final
- Extended the stay at Number 1
Federer vs. Djokovic Highlights
My Thoughts on the Final/Tournament
This was yet another great tournament for Roger and it's just fun to see him still winning the biggest events at the ripe old age of 31. He's already had a dream summer winning Wimbledon and has yet again continued the upward trend winning his 5th Cincinnati title.
He played great tennis all week and came up with the goods on numerous occasions most notably against Fish in the Quarter finals and then again today in the tie break. This has clearly been great preparation for New Yorkband now he will enter the tournament feeling confident of winning another US Open Trophy.
I think the tie break also made this match all the more relevant for both men, if Federer had won it 6-0 6-2 then it wouldn't really big a huge deal. Yes, Roger would have been confident after thrashing Djoker but there'd always be that thought of Djokovic not playing to any sort of level. But because Djokovic started playing much much better and Roger won in a tight tie break he will be even more confident that he can produce the goods in the business end of a set. Novak will probably also take comfort from hitting back in the second set too as he knows a couple of points in the breaker and a few less errors then he may have leveled the match. I think this makes the US Open pretty interesting for both guys and I'm definitely looking forward to it.