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Cincinnati Masters 2019: A look at Roger Federer's journey through the years

Federer poses with his 1st Cincinnati trophy in 2005
Federer poses with his 1st Cincinnati trophy in 2005
Bhargav

Roger Federer, the winner of 28 Masters 1000 titles, is behind only Rafael Nadal (35) and Novak Djokovic (33) in the all-time list for most Masters 1000 triumphs.

One of only two players, along with Nadal, to play a staggering 50 Masters 1000 finals, Federer is also one of only 3 players (Nadal and Djokovic being the others) to play the title match at each of the 9 Masters 1000 tournaments in the season.

Federer has played at least 5 finals at 5 different tournaments at this level (Indian Wells-9, Miami-5, Madrid-5. Coupe Rogers-6 and Cincinnati-8). Federer also played 5 finals in Hamburg which ceased to be a Masters 1000 tournament from the 2009 season.

Cincinnati is Federer's happiest Masters 1000 stop on the calendar where the Swiss has triumphed more times than at any other tournament.

Federer has the most titles (7), most finals (8) and most match wins (46) at Cincinnati. He has been the top seed at the tournament for a record 7 times. His 2019 campaign would break a tie with Michael Chang (16) for most appearances in Cincinnati.

The Swiss enjoyed a perfect record in Cincinnati finals till the 2018 title match when Djokovic foiled the Swiss' perfect finals record at the tournament. As Federer strives to become the oldest champion at Cincinnati, here's a flashback of the Swiss' triumphs at the event.


#1 First Title (2005)

Federer beats Roddick to win his 1st Cincinnati title in 2005
Federer beats Roddick to win his 1st Cincinnati title in 2005

In a dominant 2005 season, the top-ranked player in the world beat Andy Roddick 6-3, 7-5 for his first Cincinnati title, 4th Masters 1000 title of the year, 8th career Masters 1000 title, 9th title of the year and 31st singles title of his career.

Having started his Cincinnati career with an underwhelming 1-4 match win record, the Swiss won his first title at the tournament in his 5th appearance.

Federer dropped his only sets of the tournament in the second round against Nicolas Kiefer and in the semifinal against American Robby Ginepri before beating another American, Andy Roddick, in straight sets in the title match.

The Cincinnati triumph was Federer's 4th at a hardcourt Masters 1000 and came amidst the Swiss' record streak of 49 consecutive match wins on American soil (2004 - 2006).

#2 Second Title (2007)

Federer beats Blake for his second Cincinnati title in 2007
Federer beats Blake for his second Cincinnati title in 2007

Federer triumphed for the second time at Cincinnati in 2007 by overcoming American James Blake 6-1, 6-4 in the title match.

It was the Swiss's 5th title and 2nd Masters 1000 of the year, and 50th career singles title.

In his second consecutive Masters 1000 final (lost to Djokovic in Montreal), Federer clinched his 14th Masters 1000 title and a 10th Masters 1000 triumph on hardcourt in Cincinnati.

The Swiss, after a first round bye, dropped two sets in the tournament (Almagro in the quarter-finals and Hewitt in the semis) in a second successful Cincinnati campaign before beating Blake in straight sets in the final.

Federer would go on to win the second "Cincinnati - US Open double" of his career when he beat first-time Grand Slam finalist Novak Djokovic of Serbia in straight sets in the title round in New York.


#3 Third title (2009)

Federer celebrates his 3rd Cincinnati title in 2009
Federer celebrates his 3rd Cincinnati title in 2009

Federer beat Serbian Novak Djokovic 6-1, 7-5 in the 2009 final for his third Cincinnati title.

In his 83rd career singles final, Federer won his 4th title of the year, 16th Masters 1000 and 61st career singles title.

Following a win over Rafael Nadal in Madrid, the triumph over Djokovic marked Federer's 2nd Masters 1000 title of the year.

After a second round victory over Argentinian Jose Acasuso, Federer dropped his only set of the tournament against Ferrer in the third round before beating Hewitt in the quarter-finals, Murray in the semis and Djokovic in the final, all in straight sets to stay perfect in 3 Cincinnati title matches.

Juan Martin del Potro would, however, foil Federer's bid for a third "Cincinnati - US Open double' by upsetting the Swiss in a five-set 2009 final in New York.

#4 Fourth title (2010)

Federer exults after his 4th Cincinnati title in 2010
Federer exults after his 4th Cincinnati title in 2010

Following a second-round retirement victory over Istomin and a third round walkover against Kohlschreiber, Federer beat Davydenko in the quarter-finals and Nadal's conqueror, Baghdatis in the semis en route to his fourth Cincinnati final.

The Swiss would drop his first set of the tournament in a tie-break against American Mardy Fish before regrouping to win 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-4 to level Mats Wilander's Open Era record of 4 Cincinnati titles.

It was the third time in four Cincinnati finals when the Swiss overcame an American opponent in the title match. The victory marked Federer's first title of the year (second of the season) after winning his 16th Grand Slam at the Australian Open earlier in the season.

It was the Swiss' 63rd career singles title and 16th in a Masters 1000 tournament.

Federer's first successful title defence in Cincinnati was the first at the tournament since Andre Agassi in 1996.


#5 Fifth title (2012)

Federer lifts his 5th Cincinnati title in 2012
Federer lifts his 5th Cincinnati title in 2012

Federer broke a tie with Wilander by beating World No. 1 Djokovic 6-0, 7-6(7) in the final to win a record 5th Cincinnati title.

It marked the first time in the history of a Masters 1000 tournament when the winner did not lose serve or drop a set en route to the title as Federer beat Bogomolov, Tomic, Fish, Wawrinka and Djokovic, all in straight sets, en route to his 5th Cincinnati triumph.

Weeks after celebrating his 7th Wimbledon title and a 17th Grand Slam, Federer celebrated his 6th title of the year, 3rd Masters 1000 title of the year, 20th Masters 1000 title and 76th singles title of his career.

It was the first time in four years the Swiss won 3 Masters 1000 titles in the same season as Federer became the first player to triumph five times in Cincinnati,

#6 Sixth title (2014)

Federer celebrates his 6th Cincinnati title in 2014
Federer celebrates his 6th Cincinnati title in 2014

After dropping sets in each of the first two rounds (2R: Pospisil, 3R: Monfils), Federer beat Murray in the quarter-finals and Raonic in the semis in straight sets to move into a 6th title match in Cincinnati.

In the final against the gritty Spaniard David Ferrer, Federer dropped a third set in the tournament before sealing a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win for a record-extending sixth Cincinnati triumph.

It was Federer's third title of the year, 80th singles title of his career and his first Masters 1000 title in 2 years since his 2012 Cincinnati triumph as the Swiss celebrated a 21st Masters 1000 title.

Federer would go on to win two more titles in the year (Shanghai and Basel) before closing out the season by beating Frenchman Richard Gasquet to seal Switzerland's first Davis Cup title in Lille.


#7 Seventh title (2015)

Federer soaks in the applause after his 7th Cincinnati title in 2015
Federer soaks in the applause after his 7th Cincinnati title in 2015

Federer beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-6(1), 6-3 for the third time in a Cincinnati final to extend his record title haul at the tournament to 7.

The win marked the first time the Swiss toppled the world's two top ranked players (excluding himself) in the semis and the finals en route to a title. It also marked the second time Federer won a Masters 1000 title in his career without dropping his serve or a set (also 2012 Cincinnati).

In the process, the Swiss became the first player in the Open Era to successfully defend his Cincinnati title twice (also 2009-10). Defeat in the final consigned Djokovic to a fifth reverse in as many Cincinnati title matches as Federer celebrated his 5th title of the year, 87th of his career and 23rd in a Masters 1000 tournament.

With the victory over Djokovic, Federer became the second active player to win his first 7 finals at a tournament (also Nadal at Monte Carlo and French Open).

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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