Federer, Serena prove a cut above

Sixth Cincinnati title for Swiss ace, American clinches her first one
Last Updated 18 August 2014, 19:53 IST

Roger Federer won an unprecedented sixth championship in Cincinnati, overcoming one bad set.

Serena Williams dominated for her first title.

Federer extended his record of finals perfection in Cincinnati, beating David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. He’s won all six times he’s reached the tournament’s title match.
The latest came against an opponent he has dominated throughout his career.

Federer improved to 16-0 against Ferrer, who has won only five sets off him overall.
It ended a bit of a slump for Federer, who finally got the large winner’s trophy after losing his last four Masters title matches. He was the runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto a week earlier. “I’ve been bringing home some smaller ones,” Federer said. “I’m happy to get the big one.”

Earlier, Williams finally got the one that had always slipped away. And she did it so convincingly that she came away thinking another title could be coming soon.

Williams needed only 62 minutes to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 for a personal breakthrough. She’d never even reached the finals in Cincinnati until last year, when she fell apart and lost to Victoria Azarenka on a third-set tiebreaker.

No wobbles this time. After getting broken in the first game, she took control with her serve and took advantage of Ivanovic’s sloppy play, improving to 5-0 in finals this year. “Definitely my best performance of the summer,” she said.

“Hopefully not the last. This is definitely a level that can take me to the (US Open) title. I still have a lot of work to do. It’s definitely a better level than I’ve played all year, to be honest.” Ivanovic was treated for a stomach ailment during her nearly 3-hour win over Maria Sharapova in the semifinals on Saturday. She didn’t have much left against Williams, who dominated with her serve.

Williams had 12 aces.

“Only?” Ivanovic said. “It felt like way more.”

The only other event that Williams has played six times without a title is Sydney. She finally got her win in Cincinnati with the help of a good matchup. Williams is 7-1 in her career against Ivanovic, with the only loss coming at the Australian Open this year.

Although their last three matches have been close with all of them to going three sets-this one was one-sided after the first few games.

 “I felt like she was dominating,” Ivanovic said.

Williams developed a stiff back that limited her serve in the semifinals on Saturday night. She moved stiffly at the start in the final, before stepping it up.

(Published 18 August 2014, 19:47 IST)

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