Federer beats Djokovic to claim 87th title
AFP · 23 Aug 2015, 22:54
Published: 23 Aug 2015 22:54 GMT+02:00
- Federer plays 'rock-solid' match to reach quarters (21 Aug 15)
- Federer shakes off rust after month's layoff (19 Aug 15)
- Federer and Wawrinka in Swiss Davis Cup return (24 Jul 15)
The victory in 90 minutes means the Swiss will be seeded second behind Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.
Federer claimed his 87th career ATP title and his 24th trophy in a Masters 1000 event.
Djokovic, meanwhile, was thwarted in his bid to become the first man to win all nine of the elite Masters 1000 titles as he endured his fifth final defeat at Cincinnati — the lone Masters missing from his resume.
"I really hope Novak can win here one day," said Federer, who has beaten Djokovic in three Cincinnati finals.
"Come on, he's been close so many years, he deserves it."
The 17-time Grand Slam winner returns to second in the world after ceding the position for a week to Andy Murray, who beat Djokovic in the final at Montreal last week.
Sunday's defeat means the Serbian world number one has now failed in finals at both of his tune-up events for the final Grand Slam of the year, which starts on August 31st.
Federer, playing his first tournament since falling to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last month, didn't face a break point against the Serb.
His superiority was clear in the tiebreaker, when his variety of shots included an aggressive return on selected second serves, in which he advanced almost to the service line to surprise the Serb.
After seizing a 4-1 lead in the second set, Federer gave himself three match points with his seventh ace of the contest and converted on the first to the cheers of a partisan crowd.
The 34-year-old Swiss — who wasn't broken all week — nudged ahead of Djokovic 21-20 in their head-to-head series.
"I think we really get the best out of each other, we've improved a lot over the years playing each other," Federer said.
After struggling all week, Djokovic said he knew Federer would be a tough nut to crack.
"I knew coming in that he was going to be aggressive, no question about it. So I tried to handle it," he said.
"I did well until the tiebreak in the first set. After that, he was just the better player. I had some double-faults, dropped my service game.
"The way I played this week, it's great I managed to reach the finals."
Djokovic isn't giving up on his Cincinnati dream.
"This year I got to the final, it's a step closer," he said. "I'm going to keep going, keep fighting to make history.
"Obviously it's a great incentive and inspired me to come back and play my best tennis."