World number three Roger Federer won his sixth Cincinnati title with a hard-fought three-sets victory over David Ferrer at the Western & Southern Open.The 33-year-old Swiss won 6-3 1-6 6-2 to extend his unbeaten run against the 32-year-old Spaniard to 16 matches.
But he was made to work by Ferrer, who was close to handing him his first love set since the 2008 French Open final.
It is the former world number one’s first Masters title since 2012, when he also won in Cincinnati.
Federer broke his opponent eight games in the match and saved four breakpoints on his own serve in the penultimate game before taking the set 6-3.
World number six Ferrer struggled to hold serve in the first game of the second set – saving five breakpoints – but then stunned Federer with a triple break to take the set 6-1.
The third set went with serve until Federer broke in the fourth game to regain momentum at 3-1 up and the Swiss took control from there on in to claim his 80th career title.
Federer had lost his last two finals, to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in July and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Canadian Masters earlier this month.