Novak Djokovic has broken new ground in tennis history after dispatching Roger Federer to win the Cincinnati Open.
Djokovic used two service breaks to stun the World No.2 6-4, 6-4 on Monday morning (AEST) to win his first title at the event.
Having lost five previous finals in Cincinnati, the victory means Djokovic is now the first player in tennis history to win all nine Masters 1000 titles – dubbed the ‘Golden Masters’.
The nine Masters 1000 events were introduced in 1990, made up of Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Canada, Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris.
Remarkably, he now leads Federer in head-to-head title matches 12-6.
He also leads the overall series 24-22.
Indian Wells: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 19, 2018
How Djokovic got the better of Federer
Djokovic got the better of a nostalgic rematch – they hadn’t played in two years because of injuries – and broke through in a tournament that Federer has won seven times, never losing a title match.
After Federer’s forehand sailed wide for the deciding point, Djokovic raised both arms and roared.
Then he jumped and punched the air before giving his racquet to a fan and tossing his sweatbands into the stands.
No need for mementos. That first Rookwood pottery trophy will be enough.
The ‘Golden Masters’ had become his personal quest after he lost in the finals five times – three against Federer.
Djokovic completed a long comeback from elbow surgery by winning his fourth Wimbledon title last month, then set out to get his hard-court game in order for the US Open. He got better as the rainy week went on in Cincinnati, playing his best at the end.
Federer’s serve had been untouchable all week – held for 46 consecutive games.
Djokovic broke that streak to go up 4-3 in the opening set, prompting Federer to mutter angrily.
Djokovic served out the set, and then traded breaks with Federer early in the second set.
Federer’s game was off – 28 unforced errors – and Djokovic took full advantage.
He broke him again to go up 4-3 and served it out.