Roger Federer returned to his winning ways with a hard-fought 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-4 victory over Mardy Fish in the final of the Cincinnati Masters yesterday afternoon. The title was No. 3-seeded Federer’s first since he won the Australian Open in January and the 63rd of his career, tying him with Bjorn Borg for fifth best all time. Fish, an unseeded wild card, perhaps feeling the pressure late, got a bit tight and suffered the only service break of the match at 4-4 in the third set. Given the opening, the Swiss Maestro served it out in two hours and 40 minutes to re-establish himself as the favorite to win the U.S. Open, which starts in one week. Fish, winner of back-to-back titles at Newport and Atlanta in July, is the fittest he’s ever been, having lost 30 pounds after undergoing knee surgery last September. “I thought I played well the whole match,” Federer said. “I had a tough moment staring at one set down and break point in the second set. But I hung tough. I’ve been playing well the last couple weeks, and today was just another proof that I’m playing really well.” Federer lost in the finals to Andy Murray at Toronto last week after taking some time off following Wimbledon. Fish fell to 1-6 against the Swiss, his only win coming in their last match two years ago at Indian Wells. “If I were to change anything, I would have tried to play a little more aggressive on his serve games, maybe on some second serves,” Fish said. “He must have served 65 percent at least. That’s not very many looks.” Federer, in fact, served 64 percent. By reaching the final, Fish improved 15 positions to No. 21 in today’s new rankings. Federer, buoyed by his success over the past fortnight, has to be confident going into the U.S. Open. You won’t get any argument from Fish that Federer is the favorite in New York. “Clearly he loves the U.S. Open,” Fish said. “He’s a different player in grand slams as opposed to even Masters 1000 tournaments. He’s got a different mindset. He’s almost as unbeatable as it gets.” Federer has won the U.S. Open five times.
Federer Edges Fish for Cincinnati Masters Crown
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