Roger Federer earned a big boost of momentum entering the U.S. Open with a 7-6(1) 6-3 victory over top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. It's the Swiss veteran's 24th ATP World Tour Master's 1000 title and it snapped a three-match losing streak to Djokovic.
After defeating Andy Murray in the semifinals, Federer used 32 winners and seven aces along with a strong net game to hold off Djokovic.
"I tried to really mix it up on his second serve and I was hoping to serve good enough myself to keep me out of trouble," said Federer in the post-match interview. "He had that one bad game at the beginning of the second set, which made the difference in the match.
"I've seen Novak adapt to my play over the years and he's also improved a lot. His movement and his backhand and forehand are always so solid. There aren't many errors coming out of his forehand wing now. Our rivalry has definitely evolved."
Federer now owns a 21-20 edge versus the 28-year-old Serb. The loss may be an emotional setback for Djokovic who has not won the U.S. Open since 2011.
Federer is coming off a title win at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, in June, losing just one set in the tournament. The 34-year-old looked strong in Cincinnati, particularly when he cruised to a victory over South African Kevin Anderson to reach the quarterfinals. Federer is seeking his first U.S. Open title since 2008. He won five singles titles at Flushing Meadows from 2004-2008.
The U.S. Open begins on Aug. 31.