By now, everyone knows Roger Federer’s itinerary for Cincinnati: Get his game in order, raise the winner’s trophy, leave town with a lot of confidence for the U.S. Open.
Might as well rename it the Federer Cup.
Federer won his unprecedented sixth title in Cincinnati on Sunday, beating David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open. He’s reached the finals six times and won all six.
How does this keep happening?
"I don’t know," he said. "I just really enjoy myself here."
Serena Williams couldn’t say that until Sunday, when she got her first Cincinnati championship on her sixth try. Williams needed only 62 minutes to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 and earn a title that had always slipped away.
The tournament’s brackets opened up when defending champions Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of injuries. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic had a rough week and got knocked out in his second match.
There was one constant: Federer playing well on Cincinnati’s fast courts.
"I’m really pleased with the week. Overall, it went from good to great," the Swiss star said. "My game’s exactly where I want it to be."
His latest title came against an opponent he has dominated throughout his career. Federer improved to 16-0 against Ferrer, who has won only five sets off him overall. Ferrer took advantage of Federer’s lull in the second set, but couldn’t keep up.
"The third set, he served unbelievable," Ferrer said. "He played really good and I was a little bit tired. But, anyway, with Roger it’s difficult, no?"
Title No. 6 ended a bit of a slump for Federer, who had lost his past four Masters finals matches. He was the runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto a week earlier.
"I’ve been bringing home some smaller ones," Federer said after raising the large winner’s trophy. "I’m happy to get the big one."