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Tenaciously Tennis


Federer Clinches Cincinnati Title Over Fish in Three

After trailing a newly reinvented Mardy Fish, Roger Federer picked up his level of play in the second and third sets to claim his second title of the season. Federer won 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-4 to take out the American wild card in a high quality match. Federer now leads their head-to-head by a dominating 6-to-1.

Although Fish looked poised to win with his effective serve, increased fitness, and powerful backhand, Federer pulled away like a true champion in the end. Fish, however, shouldn’t feel badly. Already playing an exceptional US Open Series leading up to this celebrated Master’s 1000 level event, his showing here proves he’s playing some of the best tennis of his career. In fact, Fish’s ranking will hover right around his career best ranking of 16. On Monday, he’ll be 21 in the world. Expect Fish to be a dangerous player at the US Open this year. He’ll have around a week of rest before taking to the courts again. When he’s back, no one on tour will be safe from his form. To get to the final, he took out big-time players, including compatriot Andy Roddick in a stunning three-set win.

Also, because Fish didn’t play at the US Open last year due to a knee injury, he should expect another bump in the rankings with a strong result — like in 2008 when he made the quarters. Depending on his draw, and even if it’s difficult, I predict Fish gets into the second week, surprising more big names along the way. But, then again, that’s no surprise given the way he’s playing.

On the other hand, I’m sure Federer was relieved to get another title after a long drought. Since winning the Australian Open, Federer has had his chances, making four other finals this year (including his Sunny Slam win). By closing out Fish in such exhilarating fashion — along with Paul Annacone as coach and a new brand of aggressive tennis — Federer looks fit to break past his recent quarterfinal curse at the year’s final major.

In doubles, the second-seeded team of Bob and Mike Bryan beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-3 to increase their already historic number of titles to 64.

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