Novak Djokovic finally clinched the title missing from his collection with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer on Sunday to win in Cincinnati and become the first player to complete the sweep of Masters Series tournaments on Sunday.
Having made five previous finals and lost to Federer in three of them, Djokovic finally broke the ice to continue his stunning revival after a long comeback from elbow surgery.
The Wimbledon champion is the first to claim the Career Golden Masters, having won all nine titles in the elite series that began in 1990.
“Obviously it’s a very special moment to stand here for the first time with the winning trophy,” former world number one Djokovic said after defeating seven-times Cincinnati champion Federer.
“This seems a bit unreal to be back at this level and winning Wimbledon and obviously Cincinnati for the first time.”
The world No 10 Serb is set to improve to sixth in the rankings and he will head to the U.S. Open later this month highly favoured to win a third crown at Flushing Meadows.
Meeting Federer for the first in more than two years, Djokovic’s returning and dogged defence rattled the Swiss, whose serve had been impregnable throughout the tournament.
He broke Federer to lead 4-3, snapping his streak of 100 successive holds in Cincinnati.
Federer rallied early in the second set, breaking Djokovic to lead 2-0 but the Serb broke back and earned the decisive break for 4-3, curling a forehand pass down the line.
The Swiss maestro sent a forehand wide on the first match point as he racked up 39 unforced errors while struggling to penetrate Djokovic’s second serve.
Federer was full of praise for his Serbian rival.
“Congratulations Novak on writing history today,” the Swiss said. “It’s an amazing effort not just today but your whole career to get to this point. It’s an amazing achievement. You should be very proud.”