After a relatively slow start at the Cincinnati Masters and just one victory from the first four Ohio trips, Roger Federer went all the way to claim the title in 2005, losing it in an unexpected defeat to Andy Murray a year later.
Federer was back at his best in 2007, lifting the Cincinnati crown for the second time with a commanding 6-1, 6-4 win over James Blake in just 65 minutes on August 19, securing the milestone 50th ATP title and the 14th at the Masters 1000 level!
It was the second and last Masters 1000 final for the American ranked 8th at that moment, hoping to clinch the fourth title for the home nation in the previous five years after Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi. Back in 2005, these two met in the opening round in Cincinnati, and Roger had to work much harder to score a 7-6, 7-5 triumph, a performance Blake could not repeat in much more critical encounter two years later, staying on the court for just over an hour.
In fact, the Swiss had a much more challenging obstacle in the semi-final, trailing a break in the decider versus Lleyton Hewitt before prevailing 7-1 in the tie break. As a result suggests, the clash was a one-sided affair, with Roger as the dominant figure thanks to his first serve.
He struggled a bit on the second but repelled all five break chances given to the American to mount the pressure on the other side of the net. James hit just three aces and lost 45% of the points in his games to give serve away three times from six chances offered to Roger, finishing the match on 15 winners and 24 unforced errors.
On the other hand, Federer fired 25 winners and 19 errors, dominating the shortest points to earn the straight-sets victory and clinch the milestone title, becoming the ninth player in the Open era with 50 ATP titles. The Swiss held in the opening game with a service winner and instantly broke James’ serve to take a 2-0 lead and gain momentum.
Roger Federer won the 50th ATP title in Cincinnati 2007, at 26.
Good serves pushed Roger 3-0 up before he experienced the first troubles behind the initial shot at 3-1, fending off three break points and bringing the game home with a volley winner to extend the gap.
Blake gave serve away at love in the next game after Federer’s forehand winner, and the Swiss closed the opener with a service winner in game seven after 26 minutes, looking sharp and determined to bring the encounter home as soon as possible.
James repelled three break chances with winners in the second set’s opening game for an important hold. After four good service games on both sides, Federer grabbed a break at 3-3 after forcing Blake’s error and forged the advantage before finding himself 40-15 down in the next one.
Roger stayed focused to fend off break chances and notch the game with an ace for 5-3 and a giant step towards the title. The American blasted a forehand down the line winner to reduce the deficit to 4-5, although that was all he could do, as Roger sealed the deal with an ace down the T line in game ten for the second Cincinnati trophy in three years.