Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 CINCY: Federer Beats Djokovic To Win 76th Title

Much to my surprise Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic to win his 76th ATP Tour title and 5th Western & Southern Open title in Cincinnati 6-0 7-6(7). (Federer has now claimed the Cincinnati Masters in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.) It was the 28th meeting between the two champions, with Federer improving to 16-12 and winning his first bagel set in over 82 sets played.

For the first time in ATP history both players reached the final without having lost their serve, but Djokovic started extremely flat. After winning the first point of the match with an ace, he proceeded to hit 2 double faults in his very first service game, and ended up being broken. In fact, the first set went by in a blur, with Djokovic struggling to win points, and after 21 minutes it was over. The second set was more competitive but it wasn't until half way through it that Djokovic hit his very first winner and Federer held his serve throughout, forcing the tiebreak. Federer quickly went up a mini-break and won the first 3 points of the tiebreak.  Djokovic responded by winning the next four points to go up a mini-break but then things were pretty even on serve after that. Eventually Djokovic was able to save championship point against him on his own serve at 5-6 but was unable to do so at 7-8 after Federer saved a set point down on his own serve at 6-7.

Federer's win today puts him back in a tie with longtime rival Rafael Nadal with 21 ATP Masters shields each.

The 2012 US Open starts in a week, on Monday August 27th. The draw will be revealed on Thursday August 23rd.

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