The peRFect end to he peRFect week as Federer won his sixth Cincinnati crown and 80th career title. By beating Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 Roger improved to 6-0 in Cincy Finals and a 16-0 Head to Head advantage against the Spanish Number 2.
Of course the final wasn't without some drama notably Roger doing well to avoid a bagel in the 2nd set but he clearly wanted this one more and came through 6-2 in the third with some high quality serving. A huge win really after Ferrer chucked the kitchen sink at him in the 2nd set but he steadied the ship, summoned that little bit of extra energy required and got the job done.
He's also snapped his 4 match losing streak in finals at Masters 1000 level which is a huge positive ahead of New York. Had he lost in another final before the US Open it was difficult to see him doing well there but now the confidence will be extremely high and he also has the hard court matches under his belt to back it up.
Quick Match Recap
Roger won the toss, elected to serve and promptly held his opening service game. Ferrer isn't know for having a particularly strong serve and he had to work hard early doors holding to 30 in his first service game.
Roger however was holding comfortably, backing up strong first serves with crisp volleys and solid forehands and was soon into a 4-3 lead. Here Ferrer crumbled on serve firing down 2 double faults to drop serve and give the Swiss a 5-3 lead.
Know for his never say die attitude Ferrer looked to hit back immediately as Roger slipped to 0-40. 2 good serves bailed him out to make 30-40 and then a great volley saw him level the game at deuce. Another break point came Ferrer's way but it was snuffed out with a body serve and Roger went onto hold to take the set 6-3. Dream start.
Into the second and Ferrer immediately found himself under pressure, fending off 3 break points to hold what was really a must win game. The hold gave him a huge boost adrenaline and allowed him to take his game up a notch and he broke Federer to lead 2-0.
It was quite a dramatic turnaround as after being completely on the ropes Ferrer was crushing the ball and Roger looked like he was laboured at the back of the court. 2-0 soon turned into 5-0 in the blink of an eye and Roger was looking at the possibility of a bagel for the first time since the French Open Final of 2008.
Fortunately he avoided it, saving a set point before holding and making Ferrer serve it out which he did to take the set 6-1. Not a good set in the slightest but it was a big hold for Fed at 0-5 as it meant he'd be serving first in the decider.
I wasn't feeling too confident for Fed after his display in the second set though; his first serve was missing and it looked like he wasn't retrieving well enough to stick around in points where Ferrer had the upper hand. Fortunately he started the set well, visibly upping the speed on his first serve in a bid to end points quickly.
Ferrer's success in the 2nd set all came because he was able to force the issue from the back of the court but in the decider Federer changed it up, taking pace off his backhand using the short slice to draw Ferrer out of his comfort zone. It worked a treat too as Roger broke to lead 3-1 and then fired down a solid hold to consolidate.
3 more break points came his way in Ferrer's next service game but the Spaniard escaped. Did it rattle Fed? Nope, he bombed down 4 huge serves to hold to love and lead 5-2 putting himself one game away from the title.
The love hold meant the pressure was instantly back on Ferrer and the short slice worked yet again for Roger to create 0-30. A Ferrer mistake then gave Roger 3 match points, the first went begging off a makeable backhand pass but on the 2nd Ferrer missed a forehand long. It was called out but then over ruled by the Chair Umpire. Fed challenged, rightly and the call was overturned. Game, set, match Federer!
|D. Ferrer||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||61%||64%|
|1st Serve Points Won||38/54 (70%)||36/47 (77%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||14/34 (41%)||13/27 (48%)|
|Break Points Saved||11/14 (79%)||9/11 (82%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|1st Return Points Won||11/47 (23%)||16/54 (30%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||14/27 (52%)||20/34 (59%)|
|Break Points Won||2/11 (18%)||3/14 (21%)|
|Net Points Won||11/14||18/32|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Total Service Points Won||52/88 (59%)||49/74 (66%)|
|Total Return Points Won||25/74 (34%)||36/88 (41%)|
|Total Points Won||77/162 (48%)||85/162 (52%)|
On Court Interview
Thoughts on the Match
I really thought I was feeling better again towards the end of the second set, like he felt better at the end of the first. I carried that over into the third and served great and was able to come up with some really good plays. Just overall I think I played a great match at the end.
A huge victory here for Fed and maybe even a must win final. Losing Brisbane, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Wimbledon and Toronto were giving Fed a second best tag this year when it really mattered but by winning Cincy for a record 6th time he's turned it around in an instant.
Losing in Toronto to Tsonga clearly irked him to the point where there was no way he was going to let another final slip. I thought he looked dead on his feet during the second set but in the decider he got that second wind. Cranking up the serve and switching his gameplan up to use the short slice to drag Ferrer into the forecourt. After looking unstoppable for about 5 games, Ferrer began to make mistakes when he was playing shots from uncomfortable positions. Roger's serve then gave him that breathing space he needed to hold quickly and instantly put Ferrer back under pressure.
That's the beauty of having so many shots in your repertoire, I doubt Fed would have won this one if he'd continued to trade from the baseline where Ferrer seemed to have the upper hand, so he just changed it around and it worked. Serving ridiculously well also helped too of course and you could see Fed making a conscious effort to drive up with the legs even though he was tired to get that all important 1st serve in play.
Interestingly Roger said afterwards he came pretty close to withdrawing from Cincy after Toronto tired him out, but he felt good in practice when he arrived and gave it a go. Very good decision I must say 🙂
As for Ferrer he justified my Dark Horse tag ahead of Cincy and he's played himself back into form this hard court swing. If you're not a member of the big 4 then he's definitely not a name you want to see in your section of the draw at the US Open. I'll back him to make the Quarter Finals at least in New York.
By beating Ferrer in the final it was:
- Roger Federer's 972nd overall career match win.
- Federer's 871st match win against right handed opponents
- Federer's 304th match win at an ATP-1000 masters tournament level.
- Federer is now 6-0 in the finals of Cincinnati. He always won this title, whenever he has reached in the semifinal.
- Federer's 80th career singles title. Only Jimmy Connors with 109 and Ivan Lendl with 94 titles have more titles than Federer in the open era.
- Federer's 1st ATP 1000 masters title win in two years, last he won Cincy Masters on 19-Aug-2012.
- Federer's 22nd ATP 1000 masters title win. Most number of ATP 1000 title wins: Nadal 27, Federer 22, Djokovic 19, Agassi: 17, Sampras: 11, Murray: 9.
- Federer is the 2nd eldest player to win ATP 1000 Masters tournament title, Andre Agassi won Cincy Masters at the age of 34 years, 4 months. If we include Grand Prix from 1970 in this category, Federer is the 4th oldest after Ken Rosewall (35 in 1970) and Marty Riessen (32 in 1974).
- Roger Federer's 12th win over a Top10 opponent in 2014 & that equals 27% of the total match wins that he had in 2013.
- During, 12 of the last 13 years (with the exception of 2013), Roger Federer has won *at least* 3 titles each year.
- Federer's 16 match winning streak vs Ferrer equals the 2nd highest winning streak in the open era. Highest active winning streak is Nadal vs Berdych 17-0.