Multiple Grand Slam winner, Novak Djokovic, made history at the weekend as he became the first ever player to win all nine Masters 1,000 tournaments as he beat seven-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets 6-4 6-4 at the Cincinnati Masters.
The 31-year-old had been a runner up on five previous occasions, three times to Federer, but he finally had the last laugh after beating the Swiss in what was a hard-fought victory on centre court.
Djokovic came out of the traps firing in the contest, immediately putting Federer on the back foot and under pressure. Federer had to respond by saving two break points, before holding on to secure victory in the first game. Djokovic did manage to break Federer’s resolve, and serve, as he went 4-3 ahead and went on to win the opening set to put himself in a commanding position.
Federer had to dig deep once again and looked a lot stronger at the start if the second set, managing to gain himself a 2-0 advantage. Djokovic was rampant though, he fought back to level proceedings at 2-2, before earning another break point at 4-3. The world number ten then served to win the match after just 1 hour and 24 minutes, to become the first man to complete the ‘Golden Masters’.
Federer was quick to congratulate his rival by saying, “Congratulations to Novak for your amazing effort not just this week, but throughout your whole career, it is an amazing achievement.” The Swiss went on to add, “It’s been a great week, tough on the players but we had a fun time.” Federer, the world number two, will have been disappointed not to secure victory in the final as it would have seen him collect his 99th career trophy and it would also seen the head to head record between the pair level up with 23 victories apiece.
Djokovic’s victory at the Cincinnati Masters could be integral for the Serb going forward. He will now be looking to take his current form into the US Open which is less than a week away. Djokovic has won two titles previously at Flushing Meadows in 2011 and 2015 and will be hoping to make it a hat trick of successes. After winning both Wimbledon and the Cincinnati Masters in 2018, this is proving to be a good period for Djokovic who found himself out of the reckoning for a while.
Another aim for the Serb will be to continue climbing the world rankings. His recent success has seen him go from 10th to 6th, with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin Del Potro all within his sights. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, world number one and two respectively, are still well ahead of the chasing pack, but if anyone can mount a challenge to weaken their grip it’s Djokovic, and in this form, he could be back to the top of the rankings sooner rather than later.