On this day: Roger Federer wins Cincinnati marathon to remain on Rafael Nadal's..



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On this day: Roger Federer wins Cincinnati marathon to remain on Rafael Nadal's..

On this day ten years ago, Roger Federer won the fourth Cincinnati crown in one of the toughest challenges in all of his successful Ohio campaigns, defeating Mardy Fish 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes! It was the second title in 2010 for Roger after conquering the Australian Open, losing some tight encounters in the previous months, including the quarter-final defeats to Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

After this triumph in Cincinnati, Roger's year would turn to a more positive direction, reaching the semi-final at the US Open and winning Stockholm, Basel and the ATP Finals for the year-end no. 2 position. The Swiss had to play three matches before the final clash, and two of those were completed encounters, with Denis Istomin retiring in the opening set and Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrawing before the showdown against Roger due to an injury.

Nonetheless, Federer needed everything he had to emerge as a winner against Mardy, ousting the American for the sixth time in seven meetings, losing the previous one at Indian Wells 2008 in straight sets. It was the 63rd ATP crown for Roger that moved him just one behind Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras, tying Andre Agassi's record of 17 Masters 1000 titles to stand one behind Rafael Nadal.

The American fired 17 aces but landed only 56% of the first serve in, saving four out of five break points to stay in touch with the multiple champion. Federer was the better player on both the first and second serve, saving the only break point he gave to Fish and prevailing with a late break in the ninth game of the deciding set that secured the fourth trophy in Ohio in the last six years.

Both players hit more unforced errors than winners, with Roger as the more aggressive figure on the court, firing more direct points and covering the net more often than Mardy.

Roger Federer claimed the fourth Cincinnati title in 2010.

The American had a small lead in the shortest rallies thanks to his serve, but Federer earned the victory in the mid-range exchanges, constructing them in a more efficient way to leave Mardy behind and cross the finish line first.

Fish had to play against a break point already in the third game, saving it with a service winner and erasing another after a weak forehand from Roger that could have moved him in front. After nine deuces and almost 15 minutes, Mardy finally brought the game home to avoid an early setback, with both serving well in the next five games to stay locked up at 4-4.

Federer created another break chance a few minutes later but was denied with an ace down the T line from Mardy, who closed the game with another booming serve to stay in front. We saw the first deuces in the Swiss' games at 4-5 but Fish couldn't earn break chances, having to think about defending his game a few minutes later and landing an ace to fend off the danger and secure a tie break.

The American moved 4-3 ahead in the breaker after a deep return, staying in front only for a couple of moments before Roger got back to business with a great forehand down the line shot, pulling the mini-break back instantly.

Federer moved in front with another forehand winner, although it wasn't to be for him in the opener, losing the next two points on serve to fall 6-5 behind and allowing Fish to clinch it with a service winner after 67 minutes.

Mardy had a colossal chance to move a set and a break up when he created a break opportunity at 2-2 in set number two, wasting it with a terrible forehand from a well-constructed attack that could have brought him closer to the finish line.

Roger held with a service winner after three deuces, and nothing could separate them by the end of the set, setting up another tie break with all the pressure on Federer's side of the net. In a manner of a true champion, Roger claimed the breaker 7-1, sealing it with an ace to send the encounter into a decider after two hours of play.

The first deuce in the final set came in the sixth game when Federer held after a service winner, securing the crucial break when Mardy netted a backhand at 4-4 for the only successful return. Serving for the crown, Federer held at 30 in game ten after a backhand error from Fish to celebrate his fourth title in Cincinnati since 2005, the toughest one he won out of seven in total.