There was a Jaguar
Who took his opponent for a ride,
And he returned
With his opponent inside
And a smile on the face of the Jaguar
Roger Federer smiled at the summer-blue sky to celebrate his Seventh Cincinnati title. Federer remained perfect in Cincinnati finals, winning an unprecedented seventh championship, while denying Novak Djokovic the one title that always eludes him. Djokovic is now 0-5 in Cincinnati Finals, losing thrice to Federer and twice to Andy Murray.
Federer was immaculate on serve against arguably the greatest return of all time. He was really aggressive as the surface and the conditions allow him to play very fast. Federer showed a completely new way of returning serves. Some return approaches were so extreme, it seemed like the ball had barely bounced in the service box before he had charged forward to take it as early as possible on the rise.
A hidden benefit of the aggressive return tactic is that it completely robs the server of time to prepare for the first shot after the serve. There is no better time in tennis to rush a groundstroke than right after a serve, as there is a lot more organisation required of the hands and feet following a service motion to then hit a groundstroke.
Federer, who beat Andy Murray in the semi-finals, now has 87 career titles and 24 Masters titles and takes a 21-20 edge in career head-to-head meetings with Djokovic. He now has 7 or more titles at four tournaments (Halle (8), Wimbledon, Dubai and Cincinnati).
Headlights are on High Beam for the upcoming US Open Championship.
With his victory at Cincinnati, Federer has moved back to No 2 after losing the spot to Andy Murray last week. This also ensures that Federer would be seeded 2nd in the US Open this year, which means that there is 100% chance that he would not meet Djokovic before the finals and a 50% chance that he would meet Andy Murray in the Semis. Apart from these two, there could be just one of the two possible hiccups, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, who can beat any player on a given day.
Roger Federer avenged his Wimbledon loss to Djokovic earlier this year. You cannot let one loss beat you twice. And Federer knew how important it was to beat Djokovic, going into the US Open. The last couple of weeks haven’t been very rosy for Djokovic as he lost two successive ATP Masters Finals just before the US Open. But, Djokovic feels that the conditions in New York suit him better and he is obviously the favourite to win the tournament.
As of now, there are no players that can cause an upset over the Top 3 in the US Open. But, we will wait for the draws to speculate chances of any.
After his Quarter Final win over Wawrinka, a relieved Djokovic wrote, “I love Pink” on the camera lens. Well, pink was what he was served!