Roger Federer celebrated his 80th singles title on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open, overcoming a second-set charge from David Ferrer to prevail 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final to feature two players over the age of 30.
Federer, 33, improved to a perfect 6-0 in Cincinnati finals and to a 16-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the 32-year-old Ferrer. He snapped a four-match losing streak in Masters 1000 finals, including a runner-up finish last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Tsonga), to claim his 22nd crown at this level.
"I'm very happy about the week," said Federer. "Just overall it went from good to great. Just really pleased that I was able to back up a tough week last week already."
In the fourth 30-over final of the season, Federer broke for a 5-3 lead when Ferrer double-faulted, and then saved four break points in the next game to close the set. Ferrer, in turn, saved four break points to start the second set before seizing control. He raced out to a 5-0 lead and claimed just his fifth set in 16 career meetings against Federer.
Federer regained the lead as he broke to go up 3-1 in the decisive set. He wrapped up the victory on serve after one hour and 42 minutes, prevailing at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since his Cincinnati triumph two years ago. He also won here in 2005, '07, '09 and '10.
"I really thought I was feeling better again towards the end of the second set, like he felt better at the end of the first," said Federer. "I carried that over into the third and served great and was able to come up with some really good plays. Just overall I think I played a great match at the end."
The Swiss lifted his third trophy from eight finals this season, adding to his victories in Dubai and Halle, and joined Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94) as players to clinch 80 or more titles in the Open Era.
In his opening match against Vasek Pospisil earlier this week in Cincinnati, Federer made history as the first player to win 300 matches at the Masters 1000 level. His 22 Masters 1000 titles is second to Rafael Nadal’s 27 in the leaders list.
With his final showings in both Toronto and Cincinnati, Federer strengthened his place at No. 2 in the Emirates Airline Bonus Challenge standings, behind Canadian Milos Raonic. He will next head to New York for the US Open, where he will compete for an Open Era-record sixth title.
"Especially now I come in with great confidence," he said. "I can really rest now, rather than having to work on stuff, so it's just about maintaining. That's also really good for the mind... I know my game is where I want it to be. It's about just keeping that level up right now."
Ferrer was attempting to win his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and 22nd overall. He had recorded his 150th match win in Masters 1000 action after saving two match points in his second-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.
"He was better, but I was close," said Ferrer, who also lost to Federer last week in Toronto. "I am happy with my game these two weeks. I [reached the] quarter-final in Toronto and final here playing well every day."