Roger Federer showed his brilliance and class ahead of the U.S. Open. The former world No 1 crushed reigning No 1 Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Cincinnati Masters to clinch the title for the seventh consecutive time.
Federer won 7-6, 6-3. Djokovic appeared vulnerable in front of vintage Federer, especially in the second set as the stomach strain he sustained during the semifinals against Alexandr Dolgopolov continued to plague him. The top-ranked Serb though didn’t give any excuse for the debacle.
Vintage Federer takes sweet revenge
Federer twice lost to Djokovic in the last two consecutive Wimbledon final. The man with 17 major titles wasn’t ready to slip this opportunity to take sweet revenge when his rival was looking to make history by winning all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles. This was his first tournament since then and he took control from the first game.
“Papa, you need a hat,” one of Federer’s twin girls, Myla, said as Federer cruised towards the title and Djokovic felt the heat of his opponents’ vigor from the beginning as he was blown by the Swiss’ new battle plan.
“He’s more aggressive here than in any other tournament because the surface and conditions allow him to play very fast,” Djokovic said of Federer’s new-found skill in barreling into the service box to take on any weak second serve. “He likes this rhythm. I don’t too much. I knew coming into the match he was going to be aggressive. I did well until the tie-break in the first set; after that, he was just the better player.”
There are rumors about Djokovic being bogged down by elbow pain since he lost to Andy Murray in the finals of Rogers Cup in Montreal. The top-seeded Serb though ridiculed the idea.
FedEx is delighted to have unleashed his new style ahead of the venture at the Flushing Meadows.
“I’m not going to play the way they like it,” he said. “I’ll always come out and make it an athletic match or make it uncomfortable in the sense that they don’t know what’s coming. You can’t always do it. Some surfaces allow you to do it better than others, but this week it worked out well.”
Federer has 5 U.S. Open titles in his kitty and is eyeing to surpass Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras.
“Let’s be honest, I didn’t do it on every single second serve, but I was very aggressive. I am happy to see that it’s also a way forward for me because, for quite a long time in my career, I was very content to chip it and be aggressive with the forehand. I’m doing different things now on the backhand.”