By Ros Satar, in Cincinnati

  • Novak Djokovic [10] def. Roger Federer [2] 6-4 6-4
  • Djokovic becomes the first player to win all nine ATP Masters since the start of the series in 1990.
CINCINNATI, USA – Novak Djokovic carved out a bit of history as he became the first man to win all nine Masters 1000 titles with the previously elusive Cincinnati title.

 

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Novak Djokovic [10] def. Roger Federer [2] 6-4 6-4

History was made at the Western & Southern Open as Novak Djokovic, still coming back to form after surgery earlier in the year, won the one Masters tite that had been eluding him. He beat World No. 2 Roger Federer in straight sets to not only claim his first victory in six attempts on the title, but is the first man since the Masters 1000 series came into being in 1990 to claim all nine titles.

Amidst the boisterous support that had been willing him on all week, he was the first to put pressure on the Federer serve in the first game of the match, but they both quickly settled into a competitive bout, until Djokovic was able to find a way to break through to take a 4-3 lead. Closing out the first set, it was inevitable he had a slight dip in form as Federer started the second set brightly with a 2-0 lead, but was pegged back straight away.

Djokovic needed just one more break point to take the lead and it would prove to be decisive, with no other chances for either player, and Djokovic making history on his first match point.

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Coming straight into press, Federer admitted that a lot of things had not been working, but did not want to detract from the achievement for Djokovic.

Federer said: “It was definitely not my best day on the return. That’s it. It was just awful. But it’s okay. You know, I mean, he served well, whatever. But missing every second serve on the forehand side, I don’t know what that was about.

“But, look, I don’t even want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It’s okay. Good week, but I’m happy it’s over and I need to rest. So, it’s all good.

“It’s just something that the previous generation couldn’t even aim for, because we had the Super 9s, okay, but it wasn’t like a goal of anybody, because you had so many experts on all different surfaces. And then all of a sudden things slow down. Everybody starts to play from the baseline. Only then you could win all four almost or you could only win all the Masters 1000s.”

“But I think as generations will go by, more and more players will probably get a chance of doing something like this, but he is the very first one to do it. I think it’s extremely difficult to win a Masters 1000.”

“These tournaments don’t come easy. You saw my performance today. It’s just a long week. It’s tough, gruelling. The best players are playing. You play against tough guys early on in the draw. So you don’t have much time to find your rhythm and actually almost work on your game throughout the week. He’s done that maybe better than anybody. So it’s a great credit to him. Yeah, I think it’s an amazing accomplishment.”

 

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Djokovic ‘filled with great emotions’ as he achieves another career milestone.

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After taking time to sign autographs for fans he described the feeling as ‘fulfilling’.

He told reporters: “Obviously I tried for five times. I didn’t succeed. I kept on coming here, and I felt, to be honest, more pressure every time that I kept coming. I haven’t played at this tournament for two years.

“Three years back was the last time I was here. Played finals against Roger in ’15 and played against him I think another two or three finals. Just wasn’t managing to, you know, overcome the last hurdle.

“Coming in this year, obviously the Wimbledon win made things quite different for me in terms of approach to both Toronto and Cincinnati. So I felt more confident on the court. I felt, you know, I just need to get few more matches. I haven’t played really very well in Toronto, but I felt if I get two or three matches here under my belt, then things will start to work better and as they did in the past. And having that experience obviously helps to have that self-belief and the right approach.”

Djokovic, will now be considered as one of the favourites for the US Open.

The US Open takes place between 27 August and 9 September.

 

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