What no man has achieved before, Novak Djokovic has now conquered.
Novak Djokovic has claimed the first Golden Masters in tennis. He defeated Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 to win the Cincinnati Masters for the first time and in doing so has now become the first man to win every one of the nine Masters 1000 events at least once. That added to the fact that he was also the first man since legendary Rod Laver to have held all four of the majors at the same time.
Five times he had previously been in the final and on four of those occasions Federer got the better of him and the Swiss was trying to win the title for the eighth time.
Djokovic first snapped Federer’s run of winning 100 consecutive service games early in the first set and eventually went on to earn another slice of tennis history.
This was Novak’s 31st Masters 1000 and 23rd Masters title on hardcourt. To say he was excited with what he achieved, especially with the Golden Masters, would be an understatement.
“Definitely one of the most special moments in my career,” Djokovic said. “Achievements, making history of the sport that I truly love is a great privilege and honour and something that I’ll be very proud of for the rest of my life.
“I was saying previously that during this week that obviously this trophy has been a motivation, big motivation for me. But at the same time, I tried not to think about the pressure of really making history too much, because I have had already some failed attempts, three years ago with Roger, and coming into today’s match, I mean, wasn’t easy psychologically because I knew I lost to him every time I played him on this court. But at the same time, I liked my chances because I felt better and better as the tournament week was progressing.
“I felt that in the past when I had this particular, you know, circumstances in the tournament and matches where I come back, you know, from situations where I’m down a set and a break and I managed to win close matches, I usually come out semi-finals or finals playing my best tennis.
“That’s something that I was hoping is going to happen again, and I believed that it will and it did. It was by far the best performance of the week.”
Federer said it was not one of his best performances on the return side of his game but agreed that Djokovic served very well “but missing every second serve on the forehand side” was something he could not comprehend. It was surprising when you consider that up to the third game of the first set Federer had held serve 100 consecutive times.
“I don’t want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It’s okay,” Federer said. “This should be about what Novak has done. Records that a player creates, you know, at the end you’re going to all judge it all together, bundle it up and say, Okay, what was the coolest thing you ever did? And this might be it for Novak besides winning all the Slams and all the other things he’s done already.
“I think as generations will go by, more and more players will probably get a chance of doing something like this, but he is the very first one to do it. I think it’s extremely difficult to win a Masters 1000. These tournaments don’t come easy. You saw my performance today. It’s just a long week. It’s tough, gruelling. The best players are playing. You play against tough guys early on in the draw. So, you don’t have much time to find your rhythm and actually almost work on your game throughout the week. He’s done that maybe better than anybody. So it’s a great credit to him. Yeah, I think it’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Unfortunately the tournament was plagued by bad weather for so many days and players had to double up with matches so the event could catch up, maybe that caught up with Federer a fraction, this was his first event since Wimbledon and Djokovic said this was not Federer at his best.
“He missed a lot of returns. He had also seems like a difficult time to move. You know, he was not really playing as well as he did in previous matches this week, but at the same time, you know, I thought I was solid,” he said. “I didn’t allow him to, you know, come to the net and be aggressive too much, and I tried to kind of hold ground and protect the line.
“I’m very pleased the way I held my nerves at the end, you know. And even when I lost the break of serve in the second set, I managed to rebreak the next game and get back on the right track.”
The doubles title was won by Jaime Murray and Bruno Soares over Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 4-6, 6-3,10-6.