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Serena wins first Cincinnati title

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By EMN Updated: Aug 18, 2014 10:27 pm
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AFP
CINCINNATI, AUGUST 18

SERENA Williams won her first Cincinnati title on Sunday with a convincing 6-4, 6-1 victory over Ana Ivanovic, just a week out from the defence of her US Open crown.
World number one Williams, 32, now has 62 career WTA titles, but lifted the trophy in Cincy for the first time in her sixth attempt.
She won nine of the last 10 games against Ivanovic to roll to victory in just over an hour.
Williams has won both of her summer hardcourt events played in the United States, taking the Stanford title last month. In between she reached the semifinals in Toronto, losing to her sister Venus.
“I was just so excited for this final,” Williams said. “I just really felt like I had nothing to lose. So I was able to relax. It truly feels good. I didn’t expect to come here and win or have such a good summer. I’ve just been trying to go with the flow and be positive and it’s working out.”
The American finished with a love game against Ivanovic, a former world number one who will now return to the top 10 in the rankings for the first time in five years.
Williams took advantage of her scheduling good luck after playing the afternoon semi-final on Saturday, while Ivanovic had to work for nearly three hours the night before to battle past Maria Sharapova.
“It’s definitely very, very quick, you know.” Ivanovic said of the turnaround.
“Despite all that, I really tried my hardest. She just played too good today. This is the biggest final I’ve been in a while and it felt good to be part of it,” she added.
“I just want to keep working hard and keep improving in the areas that I can. There are still a few points in my game that I feel I need to work on for the US Open and also for the end of season. Definitely exciting times.”
Williams now stands 38-6 on the season and has not lost in any of her five finals.
However, she hasn’t made it to the championship match in a Grand Slam – a trend she now feels could be reversed at the US Open.
“I won Stanford but I definitely didn’t play as well. Then in Montreal, I got to the semis but didn’t play as well as I did here,” she said.
“On my first day of practice here something just clicked,” added Williams, who had fallen to Ivanovic at the Australian Open in January.
Williams fired a dozen aces and broke the Serbian four times. The American was broken early to trail 3-1, her only real danger in the brief match.
The top seed levelled with a love game for 3-3 and won the opening set from back-to-back Ivanovic double-faults.
Williams found another gear in the second set, taking a 1-0 lead and breaking her tiring opponent twice more along the way.
Ivanovic and Williams were both playing their WTA-leading fifth finals of 2014. Williams now owns five titles while Ivanovic has three.

Federer captures sixth Cincinnati title

AFP
CINCINNATI, AUGUST 18

ROGER Federer won his 80th career title and sixth at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday, beating David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 to stamp himself a US Open favourite.
The Swiss now goes into the final Grand Slam of the season in eight days as a legitimate threat after reaching the final last week in Toronto and claiming his 16th win without a loss against Spain’s Ferrer over an 11-year span.
The world number three is unbeaten in six finals in Cincinnati, also winning the tournament in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Federer added a third title of 2014 to those he won in Dubai and Halle. He ran his career title total to 80 from 121 finals.
He increased his match-win lead this season on the ATP to 49 victories, with Rafael Nadal – his US Open bid in doubt because of injury – trailing second on 44.
Federer, 33, won his 22nd Masters 1000 trophy, second to Nadal’s 27 in the elite category.
Federer, who has played Cincinnati for a decade and a half, was glad to finally win his biggest title since Cincinnati in 2012, when he also won Wimbledon.
The father of two sets of twins joked that it was about time he brought his brood a substantial trophy to play with.
“I finally got a big trophy for kids,” he said Sunday. “I’ve been bringing home some smaller ones. I keep telling them they are still trophies, but this one should satisfy them.”
After a finals loss a week ago in Toronto to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Federer said Sunday that he had considered not playing this event and saving himself for the US Open. “I had to try to back up a tough week from last week, I didn’t think it was possible,” he said.
“For just a day or so on Monday, I was considering not playing. We don’t need to take chances here. I need to be smart about how much I play, when I play, and how do I feel. In practise I felt like I was recovering quickly, and I gave it to a go. I played with less pressure. You never know how you will end up feeling midway through the week.”
Federer said his decision to carry on proved to be the right one. “It got better and better as the week progressed. I served clutch when I had to,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion. Federer ran away with the opening set but suffered a lapse in the second as Ferrer took it to 5-0 and needed three set points to finally level at one set each.
But after a rare mid-match visit to the locker room after losing the second, Federer stormed back to take the match by the throat, breaking for 3-1 in the third and putting his Spanish opponent under pressure as Ferrer saved four set points to hold for 2-4.
It was only a matter of time as Federer’s shot making began to tell. The second seed won a love game for a 5-2 margin before breaking Ferrer for final time to win.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 18, 2014 10:27:52 pm