sunday afternoon

Federer Rolls Past Djokovic To Capture Third Cincinnati Title

No. 1 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland capped off an impressive week by defeating No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 6-1, 7-5, in two hours and six minutes on Sunday afternoon to capture his third Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old Swiss, who owns a record 15 Grand Slam singles titles, came out firing, jumping ahead 5-0, before closing out the 33-minute opening set, 6-1.

“He was just too good in the first set,” said Djokovic, who fell to 4-8 lifetime against the Swiss. “I didn’t start very energetic, and my body language wasn’t (what) it was last night (against Rafael Nadal).”

In the second set, Djokovic secured an early break in the second game and got ahead 3-0, but Federer quickly broke back to get back on serve at 3-2, before leveling the match at 3-3. Federer, who earned his 61st ATP World Tour title in 83 final appearances, had a break point opportunity at 3-all, but was unable to capitalize on the moment.

At 4-5, 30-40 down, Federer faced a set point but was able to come up with impressive shots to fight off the set point that Djokovic held.

During a very critical stage of the second set, Djokovic failed at a drop shot attempt at 5-5, deuce. Federer, who has now won 16 career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, capitalized on the opportunity by winning the next point to break Djokovic’s serve.

Federer served out the match to win the title at ease and showed his excitement by raising his arms in happiness.

The Swiss, whose wife recently gave birth to twin daughters, insisted his first title as a new dad was very special.

“I think the special part (is) winning for the first time as a dad,” said Federer, who improved to 47-7 on the season. “It’s a great thing. Gets me going emotionally a little bit, because I know it’s been a wonderful summer.”

For the third straight match, Federer was remarkable on his serve, smashing seven aces and no double faults, while winning 85 percent of first serve points. Djokovic, who is now 4-6 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals, hit three aces, one double fault and only managed to win 60 percent of first serve points. Federer broke Djokovic’s serve on four of 15 opportunities, while the Serb only broke once throughout the match.

Djokovic, who rolled past No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal on Saturday evening to reach Sunday’s final, earned a runner-up check worth $222,000, as well as 600 South African Airways ATP rankings points.

“It’s been a great week for me and I got a lot of matches in before the US Open,” said Djokovic, who has now lost in the finals for two straight years in Cincinnati.

The Swiss, who improved to 12-6 against Top 10 players in 2009, earned a winner’s check worth $443,500 and 1000 ranking points.

Having lost just one match since losing in the Masters 1000 in Madrid in May, Federer is the favorite for the US Open in New York that beings on August 31.

Jelena Jankovic upends Dinara Safina to win Cincinnati title

Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia knocked off current world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia, 6-4, 6-2, in one hour and 25 minutes to claim the championship on Sunday afternoon at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.

Despite having played late into the evening last night during her semifinal victory over No. 4 Elena Dementieva, Jankovic looked very fresh from start to finish in the extremely hot temperatures.

“When I did the interview before the match, Pam Shriver asked me how I felt today after such a tough one last night. I said I wanted to believe I wasn’t tired, that I’m fresh and ready to play,” said Jankovic, who has now won two titles this season, winning the Marbella title on clay in April. “I was feeling sore this morning, but when I went on the court I felt fine. I’m really pleased I was able to play well and beat the No.1 player in the world. This is very good for my confidence going into Toronto and the US Open.”

Both players served very well, but it was Jankovic who was able to come up with crucial service breaks of Safina’s serve. Jankovic, who earned her first career win over a reigning No. 1, broke serve once in the third game of the opening set and followed it up by breaking serve three times in the second set. The 24-year-old Serbian won 30 of 39 first serve points and 50 percent of points on her second serve. Safina wasn’t as steady, winning just 22 of 37 first points and 36 percent of points on her second serve. Jankovic hit three aces and three double faults compared to five aces and seven double faults by Safina.

“I’m really pleased that I was able to play well today and beat the No. 1 player in the world, and yesterday beat Elena Dementieva,” said Jankovic, who earned her 11th career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title. “I got quite a few good wins under my belt this week, which is very good for my confidence coming into Toronto, and especially US Open.”

The Russian had won both previous meetings all played last season on hard courts, but Jankovic was more consistent throughout. When Safina fired a shot long beyond the baseline to give the Serbian the title, Jankovic put her hands on face in excitement. Jankovic was immediately rushed off the court to the opposite side of the Lindner Family Tennis Center to have an interview at the ESPN desk with Cliff Drysdale, Mary Jo Fernandez and Pam Shriver.

In the post-match press conference, Jankovic praised her father for the victory after being asked if her coach contributed to the title run.

“My dad contributed a lot to this,” said Jankovic, a finalist at last year’s US Open.

Both Jankovic and Safina will play next week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto before taking a week off to prepare for the US Open in New York.