Roger Federer defeated David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 for his sixth Western and Southern Open title and 80th singles title of his career.
“I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did at Wimbledon. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future.”
Roger Federer captured his seventh Gerry Weber Open title in Halle. The Swiss picked up his 14th grass-court crown with a 7-6(2), 7-6(3) victory over Alejandro Falla.
Roger Federer is the father of twins for the second time after he announced the birth of his new sons Leo and Lenny on his official webpage. Federer and his wife Mirka are already parents to twin daughters born in July 23, 2009.
In a stunning comeback that epitomised the brilliance of Davis Cup, Switzerland secures a place in the semifinals of the competition. Switzerland came back from 2-1 down after the doubles rubber to win the two reverse singles on the final day.
The 33-year-old Swiss is the most successful player to compete at the ATP World Tour Finals, compiling a 44-11 record and claiming a record six titles in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010-11. He breaks the record of consecutive years qualifying for the championship, a mark he previously shared with Ivan Lendl (1980-91).
“It’s always one of the big goals I set myself at the beginning of the season,” said Federer. “It’s always an absolute honour being part of the best eight. Getting a chance to win an extra trophy at the end of the season - which is so prestigious, one of the biggest ones we have in the game and one I’ve done so well at - is a great feeling. Returning to the season finale is something I’ve been a part of since 2002, so to do it again is a privilege and I will try to play my very best there. I hope I can save some of my best for last.”
Federer opened his 2014 campaign by finishing runner-up to rival Lleyton Hewitt at the Brisbane International and reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open. He enjoyed a 10-match win streak from late-February to mid-March, hoisting a sixth trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and reaching his 35th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The Swiss finished runner-up to countryman Stan Wawrinka at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters and advanced to four consecutive finals, beginning with a seventh Gerry Weber Open crown on the grass of Halle in early June. He reached a ninth title match at Wimbledon, followed by a run to the final at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. En route to clinching a sixth championship in Cincinnati, he became the first player to achieve 300 match wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level and the third to claim 80 tour-level titles.
Date: 18th August 2014, Source: ATP
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.
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.
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…
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."
''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
The 33 year old Federer next faces 32-year-old Spaniard David Ferrer in the ninth all-Top 10 final of the season. This is the first final between players 30-or-over in Cincinnati in the Open Era and the first time in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. Federer has triumphed in all 15 ATP Head to Head meetings against Ferrer.
"I'm playing much better than last year. I can move freely again," Federer told ESPN after the semi-final. "I'm happy the results show. It's more fun playing this way. Now I am playing the right away.
Tomorrow marks Federer's eighth final of 2014 (2-5 record) and his fourth in a row; the Swiss No. 1 triumphed in Halle and finished runner-up at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic) and the Rogers Cup (l. to Tsonga). The Basel native is looking to capture his 80th tour-level title in his 121st final (79-41), and become the third player in the Open Era with 80-or-more titles (Connors-109, Lendl-94).
"It's great for the confidence to switch from clay to grass to hard courts and keep on playing well. I've had a very complete season so far," added Federer. "This is my eighth final of the season. I hope I can win another final here."
Federer bids to maintain his perfect record in title bouts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, having lifted the trophy here in 2005 (d. Roddick), 2007 (d. Blake), 2009 (d. Djokovic), 2010 (d. Fish) and 2012 (d. Djokovic).
Oldest Open-Era Cincinnati Champions
Federer (33) or Ferrer (32) will add their name to the list of oldest Cincinnati winners in the Open Era:
Winner (Age) - Year
Ken Rosewall (35) - 1970
Andre Agassi (34) - 2004
Marty Riessen (32) - 1974
Roger Federer (31) - 2012
Sunday's final also marks the seventh tournament in which Federer has reached the championship stage on six or more occasions. Federer has contested the Basel final on 10 occasions (5-5); Halle and Wimbledon, each nine (7-2); the ATP World Tour Finals and Dubai each on eight attempts (6-2) and the US Open six times (5-1).
In the semi-final, the second-seeded Federer claimed all 16 of points on his serve in the first set, his game never in danger against the fifth-seeded Raonic.
In the second set, both players held serve until the eighth game, in which Federer clawed back from 0/40 to break the Canadian. The World No. 3 served out the match in the following game to secure his place in the final in 68 minutes.
"I served very poorly tonight, and that's not going to get it done," said Raonic, who served at 43 per cent. "I have to figure out how to step up against the top guys. Roger's been playing great this summer. He's getting better and better with each match. I have to play better in these matches."
Ferrer reached his seventh Masters 1000 final and second on American soil after defeating Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day. The World No. 6 owns a 1-5 record for those finals, including a loss in 2013 to Andy Murray in Miami. This also marks Ferrer's 45th appearance in a final (21-23 record).
"Of course I am in a good moment," said Ferrer. "I am in my first final this year in a Masters 1000, so I'm happy for that. I take it step by step and focus for tomorrow."
Ferrer is the sixth Spaniard to reach the Cincinnati final in the Open Era and he is trying to become the third winner after Rafael Nadal (2013) and Carlos Moya (2002). Other Spaniards to reach the final are Juan Gisbert (1971), Manuel Orantes (1973) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2006).
Date: 17th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP
"In the second set, I lost a little bit of the rhythm," Federer told ESPN after the match. "From the baseline, Murray was hitting the ball well - harder and deeper... I snuck in a quick break, and next thing you know, I'm back. I feel like I stole that second set."
After dropping the first set to Federer, the 27-year-old Murray mounted an attack in the second, elevating his play to break Federer in the third and fifth games for a 4-1 lead. Federer turned the momentum back in his favour, breaking Murray twice and holding serve to draw level at 4-4. Both players held serve until Murray was broken again while serving to stay in the match, at 5-6.
"I started well, I hit the ball well," Federer added. "I was the more aggressive guy out there. I was having more impact from the baseline and on the serve."
The comeback victory puts Federer within two wins of a sixth Cincinnati crown. In each previous occasion when Federer reached the semi-final stage of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, the 33 year old has gone on to lift the trophy (2005, '07, '09-'10, '12). He will face fifth seed Milos Raonic for a place in Sunday's final.
"It's a tough match-up but I've done well against him and I hope for one more like that tomorrow."
Federer's defeat of Murray, No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, also makes him the first player in history to win 10 matches against Top 10 players in 10 different seasons. This season, he leads the Tour in victories against the Top 10 (10-4). At the same stage of the season last year, Federer’s record against Top 10 opponents was 1-6.
Murray was making his 10th appearance in Cincinnati. He claimed the crown twice, in 2008 and 2011, defeating Novak Djokovic on both occasions.
"I started the match off pretty slow tonight," said Murray. "Federer came out quick. Then I had a couple break points in back-to-back games to get into it in the first set. I didn't get either of them.
"Then obviously was well up in the second and blew it. It's a shame."
Today's win drew Federer level with Murray in their ATP Head to Head series (11-11), and extended the Swiss No. 1's lead in most matches won at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level (302-89).
Date: 16th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP
Murray holds a slight edge over Federer in their ATP Head to Head series, 11-10, though the Swiss won their most recent meeting in the Australian Open quarter-finals. They have split their two encounters in Cincinnati.
"I played a really good match against him in Australia," Federer said in a post-match interview with ESPN. "I know he probably wasn't at 100 per cent but I personally played a good match. That's how I have to come out tomorrow.
"I'm happy for him that he's playing well again. He was close against Tsonga last week... could have had a run there. That's why I know the danger of this match tomorrow. I think it was a huge match for him to beat Isner. Those are the kind of matches you need to win to get going again. I know I'm in for a tough one."
Federer, playing Monfils for the first time since a defeat last October in Shanghai, dropped serve to begin his third-round match. He came back, going three for five on his break point chances, to clinch the opening set.
Monfils made a late charge in the second set and continued to put pressure on Federer, earning three chances to break early in the third. He was unable to capitalise, while the World No. 3 went up the decisive break in the eight game and served out the win after one hour and 48 minutes.
The 33-year-old Swiss became the first player to reach 300 match wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level on Wednesday with his three-sets win over Vasek Pospisil. He finished runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week in Toronto.
The 33-year-old Swiss, who notched his first Masters 1000 win 14 years ago in Miami (d. Gimelstob), posted a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2 victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil on Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati as he began his campaign for a sixth Western & Southern Open title.
“The Masters 1000s are the backbone of the tour,” said Federer. “I know a lot of people talk about the Grand Slams; we care dearly about them, but the majority of the tournaments are Masters 1000s, 500s or 250s."
“We have a certain obligation to play the 1000s, and I think that’s why they’re so popular, that’s why the people show up because they know that the best players will most likely play. I have a few exempts because I’ve been on tour for a very long time so I don’t have to always play, but I choose to because they’re very prestigious and I love playing them, so I’m happy I’m here.”
He improved to a 300-89 match record at this level, ahead of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the second and third positions on the all-time leaders list:
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Wins Leaders (as of 13 August)
1. Roger Federer - 300-89
2. Rafael Nadal - 281-54
3. Novak Djokovic - 220-54
4. Andre Agassi - 209-73
5. Pete Sampras - 190-70
6. Andy Roddick - 157-70
7. David Ferrer - 150-93
8. Andy Murray - 148-63
9. Tommy Haas - 142-102
10. Tomas Berdych - 140-85
Federer's Masters 1000 Milestone Match Wins
No. 1 Justin Gimelstob - 2000 Miami, 1R
No. 100 Ivan Ljubicic - 2006 Indian Wells, QF
No. 200 Lleyton Hewitt - 2009 Cincinnati, QF
No. 300 Vasek Pospisil - 2014 Cincinnati, 2R
Federer held a chance to clinch the milestone win on Sunday in the Rogers Cup final, but finished runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He had been attempting to win his 22nd Masters 1000 title and 80th overall.
"I was one of those guys who struggled early on in the Masters 1000," said Federer. "I know how hard it is to win all these matches because it's always against Top 50 players, if not Top 20, if not Top 10. From that standpoint I'm obviously happy that it is at 300. It's nice."
Against Pospisil, Wimbledon doubles champion with American Jack Sock, whom he had defeated in their previous two ATP Head to Head meetings, Federer edged the first-set tie-break after failing to convert three break point chances early on. With the second set headed towards another tie-break, the Canadian came up big to claim the first break of the match and draw level at one-set all.
Pospisil was unable to maintain the momentum, however, as Federer quickly pulled ahead 5-1 after earning triple break point chances in both the third and fifth games. The World No. 3 closed out the victory with a love service hold as the match passed the two-hour mark.
"We play so close to the line and margins are so small that sometimes we just miss a few shots here and there just because of not having played enough in these conditions, and that can cost you the match," said Federer. "I'm happy I found a way at least today, and I get another chance tomorrow."
In the third round, Federer will Frenchman Gael Monfils, who finished off Center Court action in Wednesday’s night session with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in 59 minutes. Monfils claimed 57 per cent of his first serve points (21 of 26) and broke his Spanish opponent four times. The flashy 27 year old holds a 2-6 ATP Head to Head record against Federer.
Date: 14th August 2014, Source: ATP
“That's not very good for me, either, when I see that happening,” said Federer, who finished runner-up to Tsonga on Sunday at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
“From that standpoint, the fear is always there from the first rounds regardless of how you approach a tournament. But a lot of things have happened in the last year for me, and I'm happy that most of it has been really positive for me.”
Federer has experienced a big turnaround since his last visit to Cincinnati. In 2013, tinkering with a new racquet and struggling with back issues, he began his Emirates Airline US Open Series campaign here - following an upset loss in his Gstaad opener a few weeks earlier.
“When I came here, expectations were very, very low,” said Federer. “I was just hoping to win a match. And this year, it's pretty much the same, other than I feel so much better, so much more confident.”
On Wednesday, he will look to become the first player to record 300 match wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level when he faces Pospisil. The Canadian saved three match points against Radek Stepanek on Tuesday, and will be looking to defeat Federer for the first time in their third ATP Head to Head meeting.
“Because I've played last week, I'm just hoping to get through the first round just because I know how hard it is to transition with sort of a day-and-a-half of practice and then having to play a difficult best-of-three set match,” said Federer. “Of course if I do win that first round, I have higher hopes to going really deep into the tournament and even winning it.”
Federer is contesting the Western & Southern Open for a 14th time, tying Tommy Haas and Pete Sampras for second-most appearances behind Michael Chang’s 16. The World No. 3, who celebrated his 33rd birthday last Friday, already holds the record for most titles in tournament history with five.
“I really don't play for any of those longevity records, to be honest,” he said. “I play because I love to play. I still believe I can still achieve a lot.
“But of course the talk is interesting and some things I didn't even know about: Like last Sunday when you make a finals again and it's your 120th, trying to win your 80th, those are cool numbers which clearly extra-motivate you.”
Date: 13th August 2014, Source: ATP
“I was not playing good enough,” he said following his loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 5-7, 6-7(3) in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday in Toronto. “If you can't hit forehands or whatever, it’s just… it wasn't my day.
“Today was just difficult in terms of rhythm from the baseline, so it was like a new tournament for me," said Federer. "No excuses. I think he played really solid and well when he had to and I think he served well overall, which was key for him.”
Federer and Tsonga each hit 26 winners during the one hour, 47-minute match, but the Swiss finished with 37 unforced errors to Tsonga’s count of 18. He was also unable to create a break point chance against the Frenchman, who won 94 per cent of his first-service points.
“I definitely felt much further away from victory than he did,” said Federer. “Naturally because of the scoreline - I mean, he was in the lead - but I just didn't feel like I was playing good enough to win today. It was just really frustrating the way I felt out there.
“I fought. I mixed it up, and I was hoping to sort of sneak in a set and then maybe he would get a bit nervous or maybe would play a bad game. But I just couldn't create enough opportunities. So I think he deserved to win at the end of the day.”
Entering Sunday afternoon’s final, Federer had played three straight matches in the night session, including a pair of battling wins against Marin Cilic in the Round of 16 and David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. Though he was quick to give credit to Tsonga, he also called it a difficult transition.
“I think it was the overall day conditions that were tough for me,” he said. “It was faster than in the night, all my previous matches, so I think the turnaround was tough.
“I didn't start poorly,” Federer added. “I think actually the beginning of the match was actually my best part of the match. So from that standpoint I was happy how I was feeling and playing. But then that it actually start to drop off rather than get better, that's what disappointed me the most today.”
Despite the loss, the Swiss drew positives from his performance in his first tournament since a runner-up finish at Wimbledon.
“I'm overall pretty happy that I made the final in my first tournament back on hard courts,” he said. “Had a few tough matches which clearly gave me a lot of information. I know what I need to work on the next few days and next few weeks, which is good to know what I need to do other than feeling lost. I don't feel that way…
“There were things I could have done better, but overall it was a positive week. I go away from this feeling good about my chances next week and also at the US Open and for the rest of the season. It's another good tournament for me, which I'm happy about.”
Federer will continue his Emirates Airline US Open Series campaign next week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where he is a five-time champion.
Date: 11th August 2014, Source: ATP
The 17-time Grand Slam champion said he has seen courts get slower since he first came on tour, leading to the predominance of baseline players.
''I think also coaches overall everywhere around the world have, you know, made sure that players are very good just forehand and backhand players and good servers but neglected probably a little bit the volley play, even though I do believe there is a place for it," said Federer.
"But it became harder and harder and everybody who had success was a baseline player," he said. "Clearly then you inspired the next generation by doing that."
However, he added, things were now starting to shift back.
"And I think now we're at a crossroads a little bit where things are speeding up. Toronto is much faster than it used to be four years ago, in my opinion," he said. "And that's nice to see that there is some change in it where the attacking style is going to pay off more, especially, you know, taking chances, moving forward."
Federer, who is being coached by serve-and-volley legend Stefan Edberg and playing with a bigger racquet, has been trying to play a more attacking game this season. He is back to No. 3 following an injury-affected 2013 that saw him reach No. 8 in the ATP rankings.
Date: 10th August 2014, Source: Tennis.com