Roger Federer is back—all the way back. And that is a most worrisome thought for his foes as the ATP Tour heads for New York City and the final major of 2009.
Today's victim was Serbian Novak Djokovic. Final score: 6-1, 7-5 in favor of the Swiss.
With the win, Federer claims the 2009 Cincinnati Masters title.
The match mirrored Federer's Saturday defeat of world No. 2 Andy Murray. Federer steamrolled Djokovic in the first set. The proud Serb, though, made a valiant stand in the second and concluding stanza.
Federer was serene and confident throughout the tournament. The Swiss has said that following his French Open victory—the first in Federer's storied career—and his overtaking of Pete Sampras' all-time record for major championships won, he would be able to relax and regain the form that eluded him for most of 2008 and early in 2009.
It appears Federer was correct.
Combined with better health and the birth of his twin daughters, Federer's 2009 exploits have appeared to steady his emotional ship.
The same man who wept uncontrollably after his loss to Rafael Nadal in this year's Australian Open final now seems as calm as a windless day.
No doubt that the knee injury issues of rival Nadal have helped cement Federer's placidity, too, at least in regard to on-court matters.
Federer now has defeated each of his main three challengers in their most recent head-to-head match-ups. Djokovic and Murray were beaten in the past two days, and Federer toppled Nadal back in May.
Finally, if anyone were concerned about Federer's competitive drive being extinguished following the birth of his daughters, this past week should provide ample evidence to refute such a notion.
The U.S. Open is eight days away. Rafael Nadal is not yet himself, and the world No. 1 has served notice to Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray that the Swiss is still the sovereign of the sport.
Can anyone defeat Federer as he attempts to win his sixth straight U.S. Open?
It seems unlikely. Tennis tournaments are not won on paper, though, and Federer will have to prove himself all over again starting in little over one week.
But for the Swiss today, it's good to be tennis' king.