Cincinnati 2018: 'Golden Man' Djokovic Creates History
Novak Djokovic created history today by beating Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the Cincinnati Finals and thus becoming the only man to win all of the nine 1000 masters events at least once. Djokovic completed the career golden masters.
Djokovic looked very sharp from the beginning of the match. He took Federer to deuce in the very first game. But Federer held firm and was able to avoid the break. They both served well from there on. The first break of the match came in the 7th game when Djokovic converted the breakpoint and edged ahead 4-3. He was able to consolidate the break and was constantly putting pressure on the Federer serve. The break also ended Federer's 100 straight service holds streak. Federer did hold his serve in the ninth game and asked Djokovic to serve it out. The Serbian was able to serve out the set and take one set to love to lead.
Federer came back strongly and broke in the second game of the second set to go up 2-0. But Djokovic wasn't unsettled by the break. And as the great champions tends to do, he broke back straight away. Each player then held their serve to level the match at 3-3. In the 7th game of the second set Federer was 40-0 ahead but lost his concentration and missed an easy volley to allow Djokovic back in the game. A few unforced errors including a double fault from the Swiss's racket helped Djokovic to earn another break and that eventually turned out to be decisive. Djokovic then consolidated the break and went 5-3 up. Federer was able to hold his serve in the ninth game to make it 5-4. Djokovic then served for the first Cincinnati title. A wide Federer Forehand ensured his victory.
Federer's footwork was far from smooth and his rhythm was rattled by a dialed-in Djokovic. And the key to the match was arguably Federer's inability to penetrate Djokovic's second serve, winning just four of 18 points of Djokovic's second serve. Federer made way too many unforced errors. His forehand looked very shaky. Federer made 39 unforced errors, including 20 off his forehand wing. Djokovic dominated the match from the baseline and was pushing Federer from corner to corner.
This is Djokovic's 31st 1000 Masters Title just two behind of Rafael Nadal's record haul of 33. The victory also means that Djokovic will move up to no. 6 in the rankings.
Federer was full of praise for Djokovic after the final. In the trophy ceremony, he said, "Congratulations Novak on writing history today. It's an amazing effort not just today but your whole career to get to this point. It's an amazing achievement. You should be very proud. Well done."