Federer holds off Ferrer for 80th title, sixth in Cincinnati

Roger Federer defeated David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 for his sixth Western & Southern Open title and 80th singles title of his career on Sunday in the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final to feature two players over the age of 30.

Federer, 33, improved to a perfect 6-0 in Cincinnati finals and to a 16-0 ATP Head toHead record against the 32-year-old Ferrer. He snapped a four-match losing streak in Masters 1000 finals, including a runner-up finish last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Tsonga), to claim his 22nd crown at this level.

"I'm very happy about the week," said Federer. "Just overall it went from good to great. Just really pleased that I was able to back up a tough week last week already."

"I really thought I was feeling better again towards the end of the second set, like he felt better at the end of the first," said Federer. "I carried that over into the third and served great and was able to come up with some really good plays. Just overall I think I played a great match at the end."

The Swiss lifted his third trophy from eight finals this season, adding to his victories in Dubai and Halle, and just the third player in the Open Era to reach the 80-titles plateau, joining Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).

In his opening match against Vasek Pospisil earlier this week in Cincinnati, Federer made history as the first player to win 300 matches at the Masters 1000 level. His 22 Masters 1000 titles is second to Rafael Nadal’s 27 in the leaders list.

Federer will next head to New York for the US Open, where he will compete for an Open Era-record sixth title.

"Especially now I come in with great confidence," he said. "I can really rest now, rather than having to work on stuff, so it's just about maintaining. That's also really good for the mind... I know my game is where I want it to be. It's about just keeping that level up right now."

Ferrer was attempting to win his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and 22nd overall. He had recorded his 150th match win in Masters 1000 action after saving two match points in his second-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.

FIRST SET - Federer 6-3

With only four sets won in 15 encounters against Federer, an efficient serving display was crucial for Ferrer from the onset.

In three of four matches this week in Cincinnati, the Spaniard won over 60 per cent of second serve points, something he had accomplished on just one occasion against his Swiss opponent. Moreover, Federer had converted on a combined 48 per cent of break points against Ferrer’s serve, entering their 16th meeting.

Ferrer’s game plan was clear in the early stages on Sunday, peppering the Federer backhand with a heavy dose of inside-out forehands. He would dig out of a 0/30 hole in his opening service game, but could not make a dent on the Basel native’s serve, winning just four points through four return games. Federer’s angled wide serve to the ad court consistently produced winners as the set unfolded.

Ferrer would be the first to blink on serve, committing a pair of double faults in the eighth game of the opener, as Federer broke for 5-3. The father of four was forced to navigate tricky waters in serving for the set, immediately facing a 0/40 deficit following a sublime defensive backhand pass from Ferrer. He would stave off four break points in the game, before eventually securing the service hold and the set.

Federer fired seven winners, striking just five unforced errors and won nine of 13 points at the net in the opening set.

SECOND SET - Ferrer 6-1

Federer maintained the pressure on return in the second set, but Ferrer would save all four break points faced in his first service game.

The Spaniard immediately snatched the momentum, converting on a fourth break point of his own in the very next game for a 2-0 lead. Last week in Toronto, Federer was unable to overcome a ruthlessly aggressive Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ferrer was looking to produce a similar attacking onslaught as the second set progressed.

A second break of serve would lead to a 5-0 lead and the stunned capacity crowd at the Lindner Family Tennis Center was witnessing a sensational comeback by the diminutive 32 year old. Ferrer reeled off a string of eight consecutive points as he edged closer to forcing a decider.

Federer saved a pair of break points while serving to stay in it at 0-5, having relinquished a bagel set on just four previous occasions in his career, but Ferrer would stay the course and onto a third we go…

THIRD SET - Federer 6-2

Ferrer had saved two match points in a second round battle with Philipp Kohlschreiber earlier in the week and he was seeking to complete another impressive turnaround against the World No. 3.

Federer, however, entered the final with a 9-4 record in three-set matches in Cincinnati, and was not a willing participant in Ferrer’s bid to run away with the match. He would break the Javea native in the fourth game, following a perfectly executed drop shot, and consolidate for a 4-1 advantage.

A near-mirror image of the second set, it was Federer who would garner four more break points for an insurmountable 5-1 lead, but Ferrer dug deep to hold. As always, the World No. 6 did not go down quietly, grinding for every point even with his back against the wall at 2-5. But he could not withstand Federer’s closing ability, succumbing on his second championship point when a forehand sailed long.

Federer prevailed after 1 hour and 42 minutes, firing six aces and 32 winners, while breaking serve on three of 14 opportunities.

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."

"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.

''The third set, he served unbelievable,'' Ferrer said. ''He played really good and I was a little bit tired. But anyway, with Roger it's difficult, no?'

"He was better, but I was close," said Ferrer, who also lost to Federer last week in Toronto. "I am happy with my game these two weeks. I reached the quarter-final in Toronto and final here playing well every day."

Date: 18th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP


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