Novak Djokovic made tennis history on Monday, and for once it was the great Roger Federer on the receiving end of it.
The Serbian won the only ATP Masters title that had eluded him thus far in his glittering career, beating the Swiss favourite 6-4 6-4 at Cincinnati.
Djokovic is the first man to win all nine Masters tournaments since the concept was introduced in 1990.
“Thanks for letting me win here once,” Djokovic joked to Federer at the trophy presentation. “I didn’t play my best tennis today, but I managed.
“It’s been a rollercoaster week.”
As usual Federer was gracious in defeat, saying post-match: “Novak, he’s a great champion and this is what this should be about, this press conference. Not about me missing second-serve returns, it’s about him making history. That’s my opinion.”
However, Federer’s temper flared during the match and he was handed a code violation for a rare outburst of obscenity. His frustration continued to show as the Swiss superstar angrily stared down a spectator behind him who yelled out just before he served.
In his victory, Djokovic managed to break one of Federer’s most remarkable streaks.
Federer has held serve in 100 consecutive games at the US tournament — which he has won seven times — but with the score locked at 3-3 in the opening set, Djokovic stopped Federer from making it 101.