Federer King, Li Queen of Cincinnati
by Staff | August 20th, 2012, 12:31 am

World No. 1 Roger Federer and former French Open champ Li Na captured the championships Sunday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Swiss Federer took advantage of an off No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6(7), while Li needed to work harder, outlasting Top 10er Angelique Kerber of Germany in a see-saw 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 battle.
Djokovic appeared listless in the first set, but quickly got his game on line in the second, pushing the Swiss who eventually collected his first Cincy title as a dad, and fifth career.

“This was the first win here I had also after I had twins, right? So it’s great coming back here,” Federer said. “I’ve been able to win five. It’s obviously incredible because I remember the first few here I struggled. Now looking back it’s just unbelievable. Plus this was probably the best week ever here in Cincinnati for me never dropping my serve and all that stuff and beating Novak in the final. This was very sweet. No doubt about it.”

Federer improved to 6-2 in finals this year. Djokovic was appearing in his fourth final in five years at Cincy, and is 0-4 in finals during that period.

“Made a lot of double faults and didn’t find my rhythm,” Djokovic said. “Set was over in 20 minutes. I played better in the second. I thought it was very even, and then when I had the chances I didn’t use them. I didn’t step into the court, and he deserved to win.”

Li won her first title since the French Open last year, rebounding from a spectacular won-my-first-Slam-and-tanked-from-the-pressure binge.

“I was trying to play flat and fast, but she had no mistakes and every ball came back to my side,” said Li, now with coach Carlos Rodriguez, formerly of Justine Henin. “I tried to change something at the beginning of the second set but it didn’t work, but I just kept trying and finally it worked. I’m very happy to win this title and now I’ll take two days off — I’ve played a lot of tennis these two weeks.”

Li was 0-3 in finals this year entering Cincinnati.

“I was really hungry for the title today,” Li said. “Also, I was having lunch today and saw Roger after he won, having his photo taken — I really wanted to do the same.”

Kerber snapped Serena Williams’ 19-match winning streak in the semifinals.

“One year ago I was everywhere — I was just in the hundreds, I don’t know, like No. 90 or No. 100,” Kerber said. “Now I’m in the finals of Cincinnati, a really big tournament, so there are so many things that have changed in the last year.”

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37 Comments for Federer King, Li Queen of Cincinnati

bstevens Says:

There always seems to be at least one Masters that the top guys just can’t win:

Djokovic – Cincinnati
Nadal – Miami
Federer – Monte Carlo and Rome
Murray – Anything on Clay

laslo Says:

Murray-Anything on clay or IW

skeezer Says:

i am sure we can all cherry pick events,etc. but the reality is its a long season and these guys choose there priorities where there game and health suits them. No harm no foul.


Just want to add here you’ll notice that for the most part so far Fed fans are not harping/gloating on the H2H with Nole, just sayin……and the record books don’t care. But it seems to be the only thing that matters with others Loves. Sshaamooon!

pritesh Says:

add cincy, § paris to rafa’s resume

Michael Says:


Roger has already won Rome beating Nadal in five sets. Check that out !!

Michael Says:

What distinguishes Roger from the younger generation is his ability to play on all surfaces, indoors and outdoors. This is what seperates him from the rest of the field. Others including Nadal are not all court players. To cite an instance, Nadal is greatly uncomfortable on indoor courts, while the likes of Murray struggles on Clay courts. Novak on the other hand does not have the game to dominate in fast hard courts. But fast, slow or Clay, Roger is a class apart. His records prove what I stress here.

green900 Says:


You’re getting mixed up, it was the other way round. Nadal beat federer in five sets, though fed did have match points but still lost.

Nirmal Kumar Says:


I still remember Nadal beating Roger in 5-sets in Rome finals. For me, the best match they played. I cannot forget this match because I strongly believe Roger would have beaten Rafa in 2006 FO, had he beaten him in Rome finals.

I believe the Rivalry could have changed slightly had Roger beaten Rafa there. It left a permanent scare on Roger’s mind. IMO.

Rahul Says:


Djokovic still has to win Monte Carlo as well. Thats Rafa’s turf.

pritesh Says:

roger has only 2 victories over rafa on clay; hamburg § madrid

Deborah Says:

Just a minor correction: this is actually Roger’s second Cincy win since becoming a dad. He won Cincy in 2009 just a few weeks after the twins were born. He mentions it in the quote just after your sentence saying it was his first as a dad.

David Says:


You say the “younger generation” isn’t all-court. But by Roger’s standards, none of the “older generation” is all-court either! Agassi might be the closest but is his play on clay and grass that much better than Rafa’s on hard and grass?

Sampras couldn’t play on clay. Becker didn’t win a single clay-court tournament his entire career! McEnroe and Connors couldn’t win the French. Lendl couldn’t win Wimbledon. Borg couldn’t win a Slam on hard courts.

So I think this issue should be exclusively about praising Roger and his ridiculous brilliance not denigrating great players like Djoker and Nadal.

Nirmal Kumar Says:


Just because Sampras and Becker did not win Clay, does not mean they are not all court players. Just that the surfaces played differently in their generations does not make them lesser players.

David Says:


Everyone is “lesser” compared to Roger. Of course there are things that Rafa and Novak can’t do that Fed can. They don’t have his serve and his transition game, for example.

But by the same token, Pete and Boris had nowhere near the ground strokes or clay-court skills that Roger had.

The point is that everyone in tennis history – present or past – is going to pale in comparison to Fed. So we shouldn’t knock his contemporary rivals. They’re also dealing with changed conditions that make it highly difficult to approach the net. Roger’s one of the few players out there who can do it successfully and we can be sure that Pete or Boris or Stefan’s ability to play their styles in this day and age would be greatly reduced.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I think people get few things wrong about Sampras. Sampras did what is required for his generation. When he started, he did not have that good a serve and he was a baseline player. He converted himself into a S & V player with probably the best serve. It’s the same with Roger. He started as an aggressive allcourt player, but later became a baseline player knowing the conditions and his rivals.

So if you say Sampras would pale now, it’s not true. He would have developed better baseline weapon against his rivals.

I have seen both Boris and sampras play some excellent baseline tennis. Clay is a different animal. Problem for both Sampras and Becker was movement on clay, not the baseline tennis. They are used to moving forward which just does not work in tennis. You need to move on the sides not forward to be successful on clay. That’s where they failed.

They were good on AO, Wimb and USO. That’s being good on 3 surfaces. You can’t be good on many surfaces without having all court game.

Humble Roger Says:

great times.

we never see again, Nadal’s arrogant gamesmanship in US Open this time. Or, bump to player. fake time-out cheat.

true tennis is saved

Giles Says:

@ Humble Roger. Your moniker is totally unsuitable. There is nothing humble about Roger – on the contrary – he is ARROGANT! So do yourself a favour and change your moniker.

Humble Roger Says:

Giles You are arrogant gamesmanship player Nadal’s fan? go to “Nadal unsportsmanlike.” ” Nadal bump to Rosol.” ” Nadal cheating.” etc.

looks down on Samnpras era. Nadal said. “It was not true tennis only in the serve..”
smug arrogant Nadal.

There is nothing humble about Roger? lol. Roger say that. ” I’m not best ever.” right? true humble comment.

nadal’s fanatic arrogant blind fan. as always

Huh Says:

i like humble roger’s last post ;)

Giles Says:

@ Humble Roger. Do you really expect Roger to say “I am best ever”??? He knows that fanatics like you will voice that opinion!!

skeezer Says:

How many pseudo names must u use?

Hoping Roger one day will finely announce to the world he is the best ever !

trufan Says:


Sampras was MISERABLE on clay. How else do you explain his 24-13 record at the French Open, with just one semi appearance (at his peak in 1996)?

If his all court game was so good, why could he win only 24 matches in 13 attempts? He didn’t even get past the unseeded players in most years.

Sampras and Nadal are somewhat mirror images of each other. Nadal thrives on slow, SLOW courts, (even grass is slower now), but somehow managed to win one USO (got REALLY lucky – remember who he faced in the semi in 2010 while Djokovic was toiling away???).

Same way, Sampras thrived on fast courts. Grass was faster then (its a different grass mix since 2002), so he won 7 wimby’s and 5 USO. Just managed a couple of AO, but never even got close to the French title.

Federer is just amazing on all surfaces. He has 5+ finals in ALL 4 slams. 9 consecutive semi at the AO with 4 titles. 5 consecutive finals at the French (even Nadal doesn’t have that!) with 1 title. Had he not faced an outlier of a clay player like Nadal, he would have had multiple clay titles too. Had he faced the kind of players that were winning the French Open during Sampras’s time (Muster, Kafelnikov, Bruguera, for God’s sake) – he would have beaten them all.

People don’t remember that Federer is 13-0 on Ferrer, including 5-0 on clay. He has beaten EVERY clay courter of his era, except Nadal, black and blue.

skeezer Says:


Thanks for those links
A very UN arrogant interview … Hehe

Nirmal Kumar Says:


I’m not sure what your point is really. We all know Roger is good on all surfaces.

See, just because we say Sampras is an allcourt player, it does not make Roger inferior. Just because we say Rafa is a great player, it does not make Roger inferior.

I really cannot understand the ridiculous logic of some Roger fans who think tennis exists only because of Roger. they just don’t want to give any credit to past greats nor Rafa.

I’m not even sure why you are comparing Sampras with Roger now. I just don’t understand. Roger know how great Sampras was. People who have tennis knowledge know how great Sampras was. There is nothing much to debate there.

Nirmal Kumar Says:


I have explained before. Problem for Sampras was not all court game, it’s about movement on clay. He built his entire tennis to be successful on grass. I can’t imagine a single player who can take a set of Sampras when he plays his best on grass. No one. He did not care about clay like Roger did. His mentality was different.

Borg won Grass which is a fast court but did not win USO. What does that mean? Borg can play fast court or he cannot play fast court.

Tennis Fan Says:

Sampras was an excellent player, his grand slams prove it. However, the level of competition was not as great in his playing years. Yes, there were good players but not a rival of the status of Nadal at that time. Roger’s record would be even better today if not for the competitiveness of Nadal and so its speaks volumes that Roger has beaten most of Sampras’s records having playing in a more competitive era. Just saying.

DC Says:

@ Tumble Rafa

If Rogers says he’s not the best, he will become humble but also a liar. Nadal doesnt have this dilemma, hence the humbleness.

Huh Says:

well, if surfaces were as fast as they were in sampras era, no way fed woulda reached so many RG finals nor would nadal reach so may wimbledon finals(that’s not to say though that nadal wouldn’t have won a wimby or at least fed wouldn’t have won a FO; at least fed would definitely have won RG in any era he would’ve played IMHO, considering that he’s truly a great claycourter too). homogenisation of surfaces favoured fed and nadal to create their unreal legacy as much as fast surfaces helped pete.

HOWEVER, it is as it is. Sampras was not an all court player, not when he has failed to reach even a single RG final. Thus, in this regard, he’s a little behind fed, just like nadal is also behind fed in one aspect that nadal is not reaching fast court finals frequently nor is able to perform too great in indoors. but again, the thing worth noting here is that against rest of the field nadal performs sufficiently well in indoors too, which is his weakest surface; its only fed who has stopped nadal form winning WTF actually. but pete in his time was unable to perform against even the weak players on clay, let alone talk of the strong clay courters.

keeping everythingb in perspective thus, we’ve to say that overall nadal is slightly versatile in comparison to pete, at least statistically. thus he is a centimetre ahead of pete in terms of versatility. and federer, as we all know, would have done far better if the courts were like they were in pete’s time, and woulda won RG regardless of the era and would have reached more than one final of RG too. so federer is just a level apart from both pete and rafa in terms of versatility. and rafa’s apparently a bit more versatile in comparison to pete, or at least the stats suggest so.

but one thing in favour of pete is he has more slams than nadal and has won the most prestigious slam seven times, namely wimbledon. so regardless of how we judge the versatility of pete and rafa, pete is GREATER than nadal STILL.


David Says:


“When (Sampras) started, he did not have that good a serve”

I’m sorry, man, you lost me right there. Did you see the 1990 USO? He just completely blew McEnroe and Agassi off the court in the semis and finals. I wonder what Andre and John would say about your post.

Humble Roger Says:


I’m not greatest player – Roger Federer

“I don’t feel better than anyone, because we need past champions to pave the way for our generation and we have become very professional,” he said.

“They have led the way and inspired myself and other players to chase the big records out there.

Back in the day they weren’t doing that, they were just playing to play tennis. Things have changed dramatically with the press reminding us ‘you should do this and win that and you’ll be considered the greatest of all time’.

“And anyway I don’t think you can compare different eras in tennis.”

Humble Roger Says:


you really expect Roger to say “I am best ever”???

Nadal’s fanatic arrogant blind fan. shame on you.

Nirmal Kumar Says:


No, I meant his younger ie before 88. Not when he became big on championships.

I’m sure many posters here have not watches Sampras play atleast during 90-96. They just look at his record at FO and come to some stupid conclusions. It’s a pity.

David Says:


Actually, I had a friend on my college tennis team who played Sampras at a national tournament. I think my friend was 16 and Pete was 14 playing up in a higher age group. My friend said that Sampras was erratic but that he noticed that his serve was already really advanced for a 14 year old.

The point is that I’m pretty sure that Pete always was a really gifted server. The backhand was a big problem for him against super solid baseliners like Chang and Courier in the juniors because he switched to a 1-hander as a teenager.

As far as Pete’s clay-court ability, he wasn’t as bad as some people say but it was always an uphill struggle because he grew up playing exclusively on hard courts in California and it was just never a natural surface for him (unlike Federer, for example).

lj Says:

sat across from Li Na’s coach in cincy. Whether serving or receiving, Li Na was COACHED. Her coach was giving hand signals BLATANTLY to her for the entire match. He did it during her match against Venus, with Serena sitting right there in front of him. And, yes it was clear that Li Na was following her coaches directions. It is a shame that coaches and players feel the need to cheat like this. Especially when the WTA allows it’s players to call the coach onto the court.

Federer, Serena: Pre-Draw US Open Favorites? Says:

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