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Federer, Dementieva capture titles
MASON, Ohio, AUG 24 (AP):
Published on 24 Aug. 2009 11:34 PM IST
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Changing diapers doesn’t seem to bother Papa Federer’s game. With a dominant first set on Sunday, Roger Federer showed that he’s in top-of-the-world form after his time off to become a father. A 6-1, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic brought him the Cincinnati Masters title, his first championship since his twin girls were born last month. His stellar season can get even better beginning next week at the U.S. Open. The Swiss star has won the last five titles there, and his performance on Sunday suggested he’s fully capable of another. Djokovic hadn’t lost a set all week, but was never in the title match. “The closest I was going to get to the first-place trophy is now,” the world’s fourth-ranked player said, standing 5 feet away from the crystal bowl that goes to the winner of the $3 million Western & Southern Financial Group Masters. Federer’s glass-enclosed trophy case in Switzerland has gotten a lot of precious additions lately. The 28-year-old star won his first French Open championship, then outlasted Andy Roddick in an epic five-set Wimbledon match that brought him a record 15th Grand Slam title. He shuttled between hospital and practice court for three weeks after his wife, Mirka, gave birth to twins in July. His goal in Cincinnati was to work off the rust and get ready for the Open. He took control right away, breaking Djokovic’s serve in a second game that lasted 13 minutes and 22 points overall. The 22-year-old Serb kept up better in the second set, but knew he was headed for his fourth runner-up finish in a Masters tournament this year. Djokovic is looking forward to the U.S. Open, where he had one of his worst moments last year. He got into a verbal squabble with crowd-favorite Andy Roddick, who made a flippant remark about the Serb’s numerous injuries during the tournament. When Djokovic took exception to the remarks after a match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the crowd booed. Djokovic later apologized. Federer knows what kind of reception he’ll get, from street corners to center court. They love him in NY. Last year, he was struggling when he showed up in Cincinnati and took an early loss, which opened the way for Rafael Nadal to end his four-year run as the world’s No. 1-ranked player. A disappointing showing at the Olympics in China made Federer feel worse. Some commentators suggested he’d lost his ability to dominate the big moments. Feeding off the energy, he beat Djokovic in the semifinals and Andy Murray for the title. When Nadal had to take two months off after the French Open to let his sore knees heal, Federer took advantage of the opening and moved back to No. 1.

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