Novak Djokovic has become the first player to win all nine Masters 1000 tournaments after beating Roger Federer in the Cincinnati Open final. Djokovic, who won his fourth Wimbledon title last month, defeated Federer 6-4 6-4 on Sunday having finished as the runner-up on five occasions. The 31-year-old will now hope to take his form into the US Open and win a third title at Flushing Meadows.
Federer dropped just one set on his route to the final but was under pressure immediately against Djokovic, saving two break points to hold in the very first game. Five straightforward holds then went by before either player threatened to break and it was Djokovic again asking the questions. The Serb is arguably the best returner in history and showed his class with a well-deserved break. Two more holds and the first set was his. Djokovic maintained his dominance early into the second and Federer was forced to comeback from 0-30 down in the first game to secure a vital hold.
Federer was finally able to put Djokovic’s serve under pressure and a double fault from the Wimbledon champion gave Federer his first break of the match. But the 20-time Grand Slam winner relinquished the momentum immediately, throwing in a costly double fault himself to allow Djokovic to break and stay in touch. At 3-3, Federer found himself 40-0 up on serve but Djokovic showed impressive character to win three consecutive points and eventually break thanks to a superb forehand down the line. Djokovic, currently the world number ten, was not to be denied and finally won the Western & Southern Open in his sixth appearance in a final.
The victory also means Djokovic pulls further clear in the head-to-head results between the pair, with Federer now trailing 22-24. Meanwhile, Kiki Bertens beat Simona Halep in three sets to triumph in the women’s draw. Romanian star Halep won the opener comfortably but Bertens levelled through a tie break before taking the decider 6-2.