Back in 2004, Andre Agassi won the last Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati at the age of 34 and we had to wait for 11 years to see another player of that age holding the trophy in Ohio. On August 23, 2015, Roger Federer toppled Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 31 minutes for his seventh and so far the last crown in Cincinnati, earning it just two weeks after the 34th birthday.
The age was hardly an obstacle for the Swiss who delivered mind-blowing performance to defeat five rivals without dropping a service game, including back-to-back wins over return giants Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic! Federer had to play against only three break points in a single game against Feliciano Lopez and the rivals managed to push his serve to only two deuces during the entire week after he delivered incredible numbers behind the initial shot and introduced SABR to keep his opponents under pressure all the time.
Despite a solid effort in the opening set, Novak stood no chance in the title match and had to suffer a defeat against Roger after three straight victories. The Serb created no break chances for the first time since Doha that year when he faced Karlovic, fending off seven out of eight break points he gave to Roger to stay in touch before getting broken once in the second set.
Federer dropped just 11 points in ten service games and hit 32 winners with 23 unforced errors, keeping Novak on a 19-22 ratio which wasn't enough for at least a set. The Serb had the advantage in the more extended rallies with nine shots or more but there were only 17 of those, with Roger as the dominant figure in the quickest points up to four strokes and also in the mid-range rallies to earn his triumph fair and square.
Djokovic had to work hard right from the start, which is never a good sign, repelling three break chances in game three and another one at 2-2 when Roger netted a forehand to stay in front. They reached 4-4 without breaks, with Federer having a clear advantage on the court after giving away three points in his games and keeping the pressure on Novak who had to play more in his service games to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard!
Both players served well in the last four games to set up a tie break that Federer opened with a mini-break after a forced error from Novak, losing the point on serve as well after a loose forehand to keep the Serb in contention.
A fantastic backhand down the line winner and a successful SABR pushed Roger 4-1 up, earning five set points after two winners on serve. Djokovic lost another point on serve at 1-6 and handed the set to Federer who was even more eager to attack in the rest of the encounter.
His path towards the title became much more relaxed when Novak hit a double fault in the second game of the second set to get broken, finding himself 3-0 up after landing four winners in game three. Djokovic held at love in game four to end his downfall but with nothing to work with on the return, allowing Roger to close the fifth game with two winners for a 4-1 advantage, marching towards the finish line.
Novak defended three break points in the next game and made one last push on the return in game seven, forcing only the second deuce in Roger's games during the entire tournament! He missed an easy backhand that could have given him a break chance and Federer brought the game home with a volley winner, moving 5-2 ahead and forcing Novak to serve for staying in the tournament.
Djokovic reduced the deficit to 3-5 and that was all from him for that year in Cincinnati, with Federer blasting three service winners in game nine to cross the finish line and complete a perfect week that brought him the seventh crown in Cincinnati.