Federer downs Djokovic to win Cincinnati Masters

CICINNATI: World No 1 Roger Federer defeated fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-1, 7-5 to win the Cincinnati Masters title on Sunday and cement his

status as favourite for the upcoming US Open.

Federer set the tone in the second game of the match, when Djokovic saved six break points but still couldn’t ward off the break of serve. “A good start always helps,” said Federer. “That was the case today.” When Djokovic finally held serve in the sixth game of the match he could only look at the sky and smile.

He presented a tougher challenge in the second set but couldn’t capitalise on a set point in the 10th game. Federer earned the key break for a 6-5 lead before serving out the match with a love game. Federer won his third Cincinnati title after victories here in 2005 and 2007. He also captured his 16th Masters crown — second only to Andre Agassi’s career total of 17 in the elite series.

He turned the tables on Djokovic, who had beaten

him in two prior meetings

this season. More importantly, the five-time defending US Open champion showed he is on form with the last Grand Slam of the season scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on August 31.

After capturing the Masters title in Madrid, Federer posted milestone victories at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year. His first French Open title made him just the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam and his triumph over Andy Roddick in an epic Wimbledon final gave him a record 15th career Grand Slam.

Rogers Cup

TORONTO: Elena Dementieva won her third singles title

of the year, snapping a run of poor showings against Maria Sharapova in an all-Russian showdown at the Rogers Cup on Sunday.

In a tune-up event for the US Open, the 27-year-old Dementieva posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over unseeded Sharapova to earn her 14th career singles title. She also won titles this year in Sydney and Auckland but hasn’t had much success against Sharapova over the years. It was just the third win for Dementieva over Sharapova in 12 career meetings and first in three years. Her last win was in the semi-finals of the 2006 Los Angeles tournament.

Former world No 1 Sharapova is battling to regain peak fitness after being sidelined for 10 months by a shoulder injury. This was her first final since coming back. “I think it was a really great week for me,” Sharapova said. “Playing six matches was great leading up to the US Open. I think this was really good preparation.”

The fourth-seeded Dementieva, often prone to double faults, had seven on Sunday while Sharapova committed a whopping 10. Dementieva also registered her 50th match win of 2009, joining Dinara Safina and Caroline Wozniacki. She rallied to beat second seed Serena Williams 7-6, 6-1 in the semi-finals, avenging a loss to Williams at Wimbledon.

Sharapova dropped to 19-8 lifetime in singles finals

on the WTA Tour. World No 1 Dinara Safina was ousted in

her opening match, losing to Aravane Rezai.