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Federer Beats Djokovic to Win Fifth Title In Cincinnati

Federer Beats Djokovic to Win Fifth Title In Cincinnati

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

Second Set Tie Break

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!

Federer with the trophy

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

Champagne Moment

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.

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

91 comments

  1. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT ROGER! THANK YOU FOR POSTED THIS ARTICLES ON TIME! I really enjoyed today, as big Roger fan, GREAT VICTORY!

  2. Correction: Federer is 31 ;P

  3. I think he’s actually 31 now — which is, you know, ANCIENT. He’s magnificent.

  4. Just ridiculous. I never dreamed Roger would play so well. He was actually dominating the baseline rallies against Djokovic!

    • Yeah first set was a walkover. I don’t think he even played that great though? He was consistent and came good in the breaker when it mattered but other than that he was just consistent.

      • Djokovic wasn’t great, but Federer was. He wouldn’t let Nole get to his backhand and he was serving impeccably well. Against anyone else I doubt Nole would have gotten bageled in that first set.

      • That Fed didn’t allow Djoker to expose his so called weak (!!!) backhand by converting backhands to forehand from the ad-court is beautifully analyzed in the following link:

        http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/08/Features/Brain-Game-Federer-Fires-Up-Forehand.aspx

      • Yep good article that!

        It’s a smart play, I think I mentioned it an article on here a while back, only gives your opponent half the court to play. Realistically you have to go down the line to stop him doing it – but you gotta hit it spot on otherwise point over.

      • Really? I thought he was probably playing his highest level in the tournament in that first set (and considering the level in the Fish match, that’s saying a lot). Forehand and serve were absolutely on fire, and he hit some brilliant drop shots and volleys as well. Count was something like 12 winners and 4 UE I believe after the first set.

      • Yeah maybe I’m been a tad harsh. Not gonna say he was playing in godmode but pretty close to JesusFed level to get a bagel.

  5. right on.

    great post J. and great predictions as well. you have it right much more often than not.

  6. Such a shame I couldn’t watch the whole match because the channel who owns the copyrights for the match, chose to broadcast real madrid’s match and said that they would broadcast the match at 0.30 AM. Its nearly 1.00 AM but they make us watch the comments about football.
    About the match, I could only watch the last 5 games and I can say that Federer is nearly back to his peak. Against a top 3 player, he made it look so easy.
    Surely he will take Djoker’s US Open crown.

  7. Sid TheCookieThief

    Aha! Hitting forehands, with magnitude, and direction :) Now 900 points clear of the Djoker. Let’s hope for a good deep run at USO. Who knows, even win it!

  8. Sid TheCookieThief

    By the way who was that guy playing in the first set? Was it Marko Djokovic?

  9. Again this is just me- but i think off late, Federer has become, sort of an Avenger. I’ve seen his pressers and he’s all strong, killer attitude.. Which is good, which is awesome.. Its the kind a attitude thats best suited for the late 20s and early 30s, for you’ll have the maturity to not let it get to ur head!!! Its really awesome to see Federer so dominating.. Nadal should consider himself lucky that he’s not on the receiving end of Federer!

    • It’s the other way round, I’m sorry. Nadal is out, so Federer is confident again that he can win. Bring Nadal back on tour, and things immediately look less easy for Federer

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        See, this the problem I have with rabid Nadal fans. Look, their guy is hurting because of his playing style. If he continues playing without a break, his record against Roger won’t look impressive, especially outside clay. Nadal is absent because he has to pay the price of his physical play. You can’t have everything. Besides, Nadal wasn’t hurt at Indian Wells, was he? Oh, it must’ve been the “crazy wind” :-)

      • Yeah too many excuses.

        2 year ranking system, more clay ZZZZzzzzzZZZZZ

      • First, I’m not a Nadal fan, and second, I’m not talking about Nadal here, of whom we probably think the same. I’m talking about Federer and his one big flaw in his career, that Nadal got to his head and he could never really solve him. Federer could have achieved much more, but whenever he ran into Nadal in a GS, he imploded, with a few exceptions. Even knowing that Nadal was waiting for him in the final seemed to affect him sometimes. Federer can come back to dominate the men’s tennis, but as soon as Nadal comes back freshly juiced, he will start doubting again. If this wrong is ever corrected, I’ll be happy, but it has not happened in a GS.

      • Hey Chris,

        Yeah I agree Nadal is always a stumbling block. He is able to exploit Fed less than perfect attributes – backhand and the fact he sometimes gets flustered when he can’t end a point. Simple as.

        Federer blew his chances against Nadal in the French Open when he was in his prime. He tried to beat him from the back of the court. He was too cocky back then thinking he could beat Nadal at his own game. He couldn’t and he let Nadal get an upper hand over him which he has never really let slip.

      • Sorry for the repetition, I got an error message when sending. Jonathan, please delete

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Funny thing, anytime Nadal loses, he has either started off with an injury story or ends up with it. Murray (US08), Soderling (FO09), Ferrer (AO2011), Rosol(Wimby12) and so many other ATP 1000 and 500 events. One rabid fan even went to the extent of saying that Nadal’s winning percent is a perfect 100 because the only time he loses is when he isn’t injured LOL
        Come on, play consistently, and don’t be scared if you cannot build a winning record. You win some, you lose some.

      • Federer has been confident since the USO last year, so that theory is crap, sorry to say. Rafa sucks at Cincy so he would be no threat to make the final even if he was healthy and playing this week. It’s not Fed’s fault that Rafa can’t sustain a high level of play for any longer than a clay-court season (which has been the case throughout his entire career barring 2010).

      • He won Indian Wells when Nadal was there. He won WTF when Nadal was there. Nadal played Wimbledon too.

        I think the only time Nadal becomes a factor is when they meet, when clearly Nadal has an edge in Grand Slam final play to date. But often wrongs are righted.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I don’t really think it’s a flaw. It’s a style mismatch and Nadal must count himself very lucky to have turned into a lefty. No matter how great a player, there will be certain “styles” you will have trouble with. Bottom line: Nadal was a slam winner in 2005. How many slams has Roger won since? That’s what matters.
        Besides, you mentioned a juiced up Nadal. Would you say he hasn’t been juiced up since late 2010? Did you know he hasn’t won a non-Clay title since September 2010? Did you know he has not, ever, defended a non-clay title successfully. It’s Nadal who has plenty of flaws, not Roger. But, Nadal may change that. We will see.
        Finally, 10-18 is not a bad record considering nearly 15 of their games were on clay.

      • The clay definitely makes it a lopsided H2H!

      • Ok, not a flaw, just a very unfortunate incompatibility of styles which is to a big extent due to this strange lefty play of Nadal plus the juice I believe the latter is using to enhance his physical performance. We want to see peRFection, and Nadal has been the one major issue that Federer could not solve in his quest for perfection. Maybe it is good, who knows if we were all bored by now if it had not been for the challenge the Spaniard brought to Federers’ dominance. Nadal is for me the greatest and most successful clay court player of all times, and there are only a few who would discuss that. Outside clay, he overachieved partly due to the failure of Federer to take care of him, when he should have been able to (the problem being in the mental department, in all others he is superior to Nadal even on clay), and partly due to what I think are illegitimate means to be successful at professional sports. I don’t think he ever stopped with this, maybe in this time when he visibly lost muscle mass and skipped some tournaments, and informal talks were that he had got a warning from the ATP. But he came back from that, and I think he will also come back from the current break in breathtaking fashion, running faster than Usain Bolt, until his knees protest again. Doping in tennis will not be ‘discovered’, especially not in a star like Nadal, it would be against the economic interests of powerful stakeholders. So we can just speak our thoughts on blogs like this. Of course it is only suspicion in the absence of proof…

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        @Chris:
        You brought up some very interesting points I agree with and I’d love to respond or rather, augment to what you said:
        1 – Nobody is perfect. Not Federer. Not Superman. Every one faces their krypton. Perfection can only be measured relatively to others and that makes Federer perfect.
        2 – Yes, the Nadal challenge is what has made us love Federer more. I would never have become a Federer fan had he not lost the 2008 Wimby final. It was the reason I took up tennis to begin with.
        3 – Nadal’s rise on other surfaces is due to one and only one fact. Federer’s age. He was 27 in 2008. That’s when a tennis player ramps off. It’s more due to the down cycle Federer went through.
        4 – Gamesmanship has been a major part of some of Nadal’s big wins. The nearly 10 minute, non-injury break with Fed serving for the first set at French Open 2011? To remove extra tape from his feet?
        5 – Doping: Yes, I firmly believe that even if the ATP discovers the Spaniard is doped, they wouldn’t do anything about it to preserve the sanctity of the sport and…the money making business. Imagine Nadal is charged with doping. What happens to tennis?
        6 – Will he come back? Yes, I think he has at least 2 more French Opens in him, maybe 3 and optimistcally, may get a total of 5 slams (because he is going to ease up on hard courts). Unless of course the Djoker comes up with some card tricks.

  10. Sid TheCookieThief

    Couldn’t they have made a better trophy? I mean, come on, what is he supposed to do with that? Put flowers in it and place it near the window?

  11. The tennis Roger played was stunning! First set stats for serve and return were incredible! NOT BROKEN ONCE DURING WHOLE TOURNAMENT! VINTAGE FEDERER! :)

  12. So similar to 09 final. Fed won first 5 games there before Djoker woke up. Clearly fast surface against early ball striking from Fed gives Djoker issues at Cincy, but his attitude was poor in first set.no intensity at all. Fed, biggest difference this yr has been total point by point intensity and ruthless will to win. Great to see, great to watch. Hope he can carry it thru for the US Open and get no 18. He is extraordinary to be this hungry at this age, after already achieving so much. The others must jst wish he Wld go away!! Go Fed!

  13. Sid TheCookieThief

    Jonathan, are you some sort of bookie? How do you end up predicting scores so well? Just plain lucky? O r good? :D

  14. I thought he was slowly slipping away since 2010, but I must say your boy is on a real comeback.

    Well done!

  15. I like that you didn’t write “Beating Novak Djokovic” in the “Key Stats From the Week in Cincy”, cos believe me the Serbs really want to read that there like that is something unreachable for our GOAT (They really think that no one can beat their “Nole”). For me, as greatest fan of Roger ever, it could be understandable if I see that written there a few months ago, but now NO! Everybody, just enjoy in the new title of our King!

  16. Hey J, what do you think, now with almost 900 points ahead of Novak and only 720 points to defend, Roger is sure of securing No. 1 rank for the weeks after USO irrespective of Roger’s run at the open? I wish to see him getting the 300-week mark as No.1. I think if he wins USO, Roger may take a break skipping Asian Masters and concentrate on defending the last 3 tournaments of the season.

    • Hey Venkat,

      Definitely a good thing winning Cincy, I want to see him end the year as number 1 because then he will equal the Sampras record. I guess that would conincide with 300 weeks too. I think he’s going to do it.

      • If he wins the USO and then wins Basel and WTF, he should do it. Plus, he’ll have loads of points to gain in Shanghai and it’s not a stretch to say that he might win Paris too.
        Even if he doesn’t have a perfect record at the WTF, he’ll minimize the losses by winning it, say with a 4-1 record.

  17. Roger 3.0….the great run continues….

  18. Jonathan….the great thing was number of forehand winners fedx had during d match..n minimum number of errors…
    One thing I noticed…on crucial points..fedx doesnt going for winner…just keeping the ball in play….thats what rafa n djoker do..defence…
    Clearly…thts not the way fedx plays….but he has to…
    N then getting an opportunity convert this defence into offence….
    At 31…Federer is raising the bar once again for every1….
    N yeah…plzzzz rafa fan….dont give that f”’ excuse…..
    Rogr is GOAT…

    • Hey Saud,

      I agree totally that Fed is raising the bar yet again but I can’t agree he plays the crucial points defensively, if he did that he’d get owned!

      The only time he perhaps goes a little passive is when he has break points of his own, but when he’s facing his own he pretty much always goes for it. Big serve. Turn backhands into forehands.

  19. Thanks for the great post.
    Amazing prediction.

    Grats to Roger!

  20. People are talking about how Novak tried to hit Fed with the ball. Didn’t Murray do the same thing? Any thoughts on this?

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Sure, it was Lendl, the master of hitting at your body who must’ve influenced Murray. I’m seeing a trend develop lately of hitting back straight at Roger. Maybe it’s because Roger’s been coming more frequently to the net in the recent past? Or maybe these guys simply don’t like him. “Go the heck away! You are 31. What the heck are you still doing here? Leave us alone!” BWAM!

      • It’s partially a message-sending thing, but it’s also the fact that Fed is the best volleyer in the world right now and if they try to pass him he could put away the volley. Going right at him is, realistically, the best play.

      • Probably is the best volleyer actually but that doesn’t say much for the rest of the tour, Fed still misses a ton of regulation volleys! Mainly due to being too casual. He’s best half volleyer/low pickup shot maker though for certain, nobody can pull those off like him.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Agreed. He is the best volleyer like Jonathan said. But not the best volleyer ever. If he keeps doing that consistently, it wouldn’t bode well for the impostors. However, going at him, at blistering pace, and with alarming regularity, could raise gamesmanship questions sooner than later. Especially if you do it to the man who has been voted the best sportsman by his peers for what, 50 years and counting now?

      • I guess I should point out that Federer, while he has not always been the sharpest with his volleys, has improved them a lot this year and the majority of the time they have been great. What I’m saying is that, like you said Jonathan, Fed is the best low-volley and stab-volley specialist today. So try to pass him, and he may even put it away, even if you are Murray, Nadal, or Djokovic.

    • Nah, much ado about nothing. Didn’t Fed nearly smash the ball into Del Potro a while back?

      If it was me, and the best play was to go straight at an opponent to win the point I’d go for it everytime.

  21. What do you think of Nadal missing the Olympics and the doping issue?

  22. Surprisingly, the toughest opponent that Federer faced in the entire tournament was Stan WaWrinka who could create 2 break points on Fed’s serve!!

  23. Sid TheCookieThief

    Guys, did you know that for a limited time, the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT (Nadal’s racquet) comes with one free bottle of HGH performance enhancing drug? I’d say if you are planning on buying one, this is a sweet deal!

    • John The Shizzlemeister

      Haha, great comment. It’s funny ‘cos it could be true. Still, though, I am getting tired of people saying Nadal is the GOAT… I mean, when it comes to any discussion of greatness, major titles won is agreed as the main field. And the difference in greatness, by the logic, between Nadal and Fed, is the same as between Nadal and Djoker.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        But, but, you forget…Roger’s slams came during a time when there was no competition. He had it really easy. Besides, Nadal “owns” Roger 18-10, no?

  24. Sid TheCookieThief

    Roger gets Murray in USO semi (could get interesting). Also, has Berdych in his quarter, a friend just told me. DelPo faces Djokovic. Fair draw?

    • Yeah I think so. They never pan out according to the seedings anyway. Who’s to say Berdych makes it to QF anyway. Murray could lose early. To be honest anyone could get an upset even the GOAT.

  25. Jonathan, we are waiting for a draw post from you.
    By the way, I think Fed has got the hardest draw among the top 3 seeds. Hope the GOAT finds a way to get through all these obstacles and makes it to the title.

    • Yeah it’s the toughest on paper, but they always go a different way. I mean Wimbledon was an easy draw and then Benneteau plays great so it’s just 1 match at a time.

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