After a successful 2012 season that saw him win Wimbledon and three Masters 1000 titles, Roger Federer began to lose a beat with major rivals at the most prestigious events. The Swiss had to wait two years before claiming the next big title at Cincinnati 2014.
In the previous weeks, Roger lost the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic and another in Toronto to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after squandering a considerable lead. The Swiss didn't have much time to think about that loss, shifting the focus to Cincinnati, one of his favorite tournaments on the schedule.
Federer got off to a relatively slow start against Vasek Pospisil and Gael Monfils before raising his bar against top 10 opponents Andy Murray and Milos Raonic and setting up the final match against David Ferrer on August 17.
It was their 16th clash on the Tour (they would only play one more time after that), and Federer delivered the 16th win, beating the Spaniard 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes to lift the 80th. . ATP title, becoming the third player in the Open Era to do so after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.
The Swiss won eight more points than the Spaniard and played better on both the first and second serves, with both competitors hitting more winners than unforced errors, backed by no fewer than 25 break opportunities that kept the crowd entertained.
Roger repelled nine of 11 and caught three 14-chance return games, dominating in sets he won to lift Ohio's sixth trophy. Ferrer had the advantage in the longer exchanges with five strokes or more but was unable to keep up with Federer in the shorter area by up to four shots.
Roger forged a 54-38 lead, and that gave him the win. Federer fired his engines from the starting point, holding on in the first game with an ace and moving 2-1 up front with another turn of comfortable serve.
Roger Federer rose to the top of tennis
The end seems to be drawing closer for Roger Federer, much to the disappointment of his fans.
John McEnroe, for his part, believes such a situation will not make for pretty viewing considering Federer's status as a legend of the sport. "I just don’t want to see him out there where he’s — I experienced it myself, I know how frustrating it is," McEnroe said while speaking on ESPN.
"He’s way better than I ever was. You don’t want to see Roger Federer, if he’s 30 or 40 in the world." As such, the American believes Federer would not want to sign off without taking the court once more.
McEnroe believes the Swiss will receive a huge ovation wherever he decides to hang up his racket. "I wish I knew Roger well enough to answer that," McEnroe said. "I think either way, to me one of the reasons he’s so great is that he sort of loves everything about tennis: the traveling, the press conferences.
There’s nothing that he didn’t like about it. To me, I don’t think he’d want to go out where he never played again," the American added. "He could walk around any tennis stadium in the world as much as he’d like, he would get a standing ovation I would assume.
I don’t know if he formally needs to go out and play Basel one more time so he gets that round of applause. I think that’s going to come either way. That’s totally up to him."