Roger Federer on song for US Open after claiming 80th ATP title
Roger Federer won his 80th career title and sixth at the Cincinnati Masters, beating David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 to stamp himself a US Open favourite.
The Swiss now goes into the final grand slam of the season in eight days as a legitimate threat after reaching the final last week in Toronto and claiming his 16th win without a loss against Spain’s Ferrer over an 11-year span.
The world number three is unbeaten in six finals in Cincinnati, also winning the tournament in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Federer added a third title of 2014 to those he won in Dubai and Halle. He ran his career title total to 80 from 121 finals.
He increased his match-win lead this season on the ATP to 49 victories, with Rafael Nadal – his US Open bid in doubt because of injury – trailing second on 44.
Federer, 33, won his 22nd Masters 1000 trophy, second to Nadal’s 27 in the elite category.
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 the kids,” he said on 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 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.
“I need to be smart about how much I play, when I play, and how I feel.
“In practice I felt like I was recovering quickly, and I gave it to a go. I played with less pressure. You never know how you will end up feeling midway through the week.”
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.”
The good-natured Ferrer, winner of one Masters title, said: “I made the final, 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.”