Sunday, August 17, 2014 11:25 pm
Roger Federer sounded a note of warning to rivals in the US Open, the final grand slam of the year, starting 25 August, that he is still a force to be reckoned with at 33.
On Sunday at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre, he overwhelmed hard-fighting David Ferrer 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, claiming his sixth title and 80th career singles title. It was also his 22nd Masters title, trailing Rafael Nadal who has 27.
The world number three from Switzerland worked hard for victory, hammering six aces and winning an impressive 76 percent of his first serve points in the one hour, 42 minute match.
By the victory, he has also maintained his perfect record in title bouts at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre, having lifted the trophy here in 2005 (d. Roddick), 2007 (d. Blake), 2009 (d. Djokovic), 2010 (d. Fish) and 2012 (d. Djokovic).
The Swiss maestro took the first set by breaking Ferrer in the ninth game and served out the set. The second set saw an unusual Federer slump. He was broken twice by Ferrer and only managed to win a game when the Spaniard was leading 5-0. Ferrer ended the set 6-1. Federer took out a break heading to the locker room and returned energised.
He took the first game on his serve. Ferrer levelled up. Federer took the next game, making it 2-1. When Ferrer served next, Federer broke him to make the score-line 3-1. Ferrer only took another game thereafter, with Federer wrapping up the match on a forced error by Ferrer when he was serving at 2-5.
Federer, who turned 33 earlier this month, nows owns a 16-0 record against the sixth-seeded Ferrer dating back to their first meeting in Vienna in 2003. He leads the ATP with 48 match wins this season. The Swiss owns titles from Dubai and Halle this season and Sunday’s match was his eighth final this year.
This marks the seventh tournament in which Federer has reached the championship stage on six or more occasions. Federer has contested the Basel final on 10 occasions (5-5); Halle and Wimbledon, each nine (7-2); theBarclays ATP World Tour finals and Dubai each on eight attempts (6-2) and the US Open six times (5-1).
Federer, who has played Cincinnati for a decade and a half, was glad to finally win his biggest title since Cincinnati in 2012, when he also won Wimbledon.
The father of two sets of twins joked that it was about time he brought his brood a substantial trophy to play with.
“I finally got a big trophy for kids,” he said Sunday. “I’ve been bringing home some smaller ones. I keep telling them they are still trophies, but this one should satisfy them.”
After a finals loss a week ago in Toronto to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Federer said Sunday that he had considered not playing this event and saving himself for the US Open.
“I had to try to back up a tough week from last week, I didn’t think it was possible,” he said.
“For just a day or so on Monday, I was considering not playing. We don’t need to take chances here.
Federer said his decision to carry on proved to be the right one.
“It got better and better as the week progressed. I served clutch when I had to,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion. “So I’m very happy about the week, overall it went from good to great.”
“I made the final,” said the good-natured Ferrer, winner of one Masters title. “But I can never beat Roger, he’s too much for me.
“I’m still lucky to be playing with the best in the world. Roger deserved to win the title.”
.Updated with post match comments of Roger and Ferrer