WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2014
Roger Reigns In Cincy: How The Western & Southern Open Was Won
by Josh Meiseles|
Federer extended his perfect FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Ferrer to 16-0, claiming a 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. Ferrer was denied his second at the Masters 1000 level, having prevailed in Paris 2012 (d. Janowicz).
Federer became just the third player in the Open Era to reach the 80-titles plateau, joining Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94). Ferrer was looking to become the eighth active player to win multiple ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles.
Here is how the final unfolded...
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FIRST SET – Federer 6-3
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.
SECOND SET – Ferrer 6-1
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…
THIRD SET – Federer 6-2
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.
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