Critics wrote him off after a poor year. An obituary to mark the end of the glorious days of "Roger Federer's tennis" was already in progress, but the Swiss World No. 2 has once again pulled the plugs on the experts with a clinical victory at this year's Cincinnati Masters over the American wild card entry, Mardy Fish.
The triumph could not have come at a better time and with the last Slam of the year just around the corner, Roger's 63rd career ATP title( which ties him with Bjorn Borg for the fifth place in all time title leaders' list in the Open Era) has definitely sent an ominous signal for the rest of the field. His 17th Masters title at Cincinnati just a week before the US Open has cemented his position as a strong contender for the title at the Flushing Meadows despite his shocking quarterfinal exits at Roland Garros and The Championships.
Finally the title drought for Roger ended and the jinx of losing in the finals broken with a hard-fought but a well deserved victory over the surprise finalist, Mardy Fish. Fish, with a slimmed down physique, has been in superb touch with the racket winning the titles at Newport and Atlanta. He leaped over Verdasco, Gasquet, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick en route to the final where he had to succumb to the genius of probably the greatest of all time, Roger Federer.
Fish served brilliantly throughout the match. He got the better of Roger in a tight first set and raced away with the set in a closely contested tie-breaker. But the three time champion here fought back bravely to take the second set in his stride conceding only a single point in the second set tie breaker. The attacking game displayed by Roger provided a glimpse of the "invincible Federer".Fish continued to serve and return well and keep Roger at bay in the third set but Roger produced the first and only break of the match to go 5-4 up and the next service game fetched him a much needed morale boost in the form of 4th Cincinnati Masters title ahead of the US Open starting from August 30.
With this triumph he has not only sent a timely reminder of his class to his rivals but also has showed why is he still considered " the man to beat" at the upcoming Slam.