Novak Djokovic basked in the glory of his historic achievement of winning all nine ATP Masters titles, though the former world number one said it feels "unreal" following his rollercoaster ride with injury and form issues.
Djokovic accounted for 20-time grand slam champion and rival Roger Federer 6-4 6-4 in the Cincinnati final to become the first singles player to complete a clean sweep of Masters titles.
The Cincinnati trophy was the only piece of silverware missing from Djokovic's cabinet, having already triumphed at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Canada, Rome, Shanghai and Paris.
But Wimbledon champion Djokovic – a five-time runner-up in Cincinnati prior to Sunday who has struggled with injury in recent years – claimed the elusive crown to clinch a 'Career Golden Masters'.
"Thank you guys. It's obviously a very special moment," 10th seed Djokovic – who took his Masters tally to 31 titles – said on court afterwards. "It's the first time I get to stand here with a winning trophy in Cincinnati. [I] played five finals before, and most of those finals I lost to this great man, Roger.
"Roger, thank you for your kind words, and thank you for letting me win once in Cincinnati.
"Obviously was a tough match for him today. He probably didn't feel his best, but he's a great champion — probably the best ever to play the game — so it's always a pleasure to share the court with you."
Djokovic – the 13-time major winner – added: "I want to thank my team, my family back home, who is not here with me.
"They'll be with me soon in New York, and I want to share this special moment with them, and want to thank them for their support, unconditional support in the hard times.
"I went through a little bit of a rollercoaster ride in my career with injuries and taking time off, and having surgery earlier this year, so this seems a bit unreal, to be honest — to be back at this level, and winning Wimbledon, and obviously Cincinnati for the first time."
Federer, who was back on the court having opted to skip the Citi Open and Rogers Cup in a bid to ease his schedule, praised Djokovic post-match.
"Congratulations Novak on writing history today," the 37-year-old 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. Well done."
19 de septiembre 2018
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Hoffenheim 2: Maycon denies Nagelsmann´s side|
|Ajax 3 AEK Athens 0: Tagliafico at the double in opening win|
|Dalot makes debut, Martial starts for Manchester United|
|India avenge ICC Champions Trophy loss with big win over Pakistan|
|Ronaldo makes Champions League debut for Juve|
|Lopetegui picks Navas over Courtois for Champions League clash with Roma|
|Willian very happy under Sarri after Conte row|
|Sarri deals blow to Chelsea kids´ Europa League hopes|
|Mendy out for Manchester City as Aguero makes bench|
|Cech accepts performances key to securing Arsenal stay|
|Monchi rules out Spain return amid Barcelona rumours|
|Durham skittled for 61 and 66 on the same day|
|Kane isn´t a machine – Lamela defends misfiring Spurs star|
|Hazard left out of Chelsea squad for PAOK trip|
|Tiger feels close to ending drought after achieving Tour Championship goal|
|Leno in line for Arsenal chance in Europa League|
|Gazidis leaves Arsenal in good shape, insists Emery|
|Eagles bring back WR Matthews, place Wallace on IR|
|England include Stokes, Hales and uncapped seamer Stone in ODI squad|
|Suwon Bluewings 0 Jeonbuk Motors 3 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Quarter-final comeback ends in spot-kick|
|Australia captain Paine ready to slog it out with Pakistan|
|Nadal pulls out of China Open & Shanghai Masters with knee injury|
|Ostapenko begins Korea Open defence with victory|
|Joshua v Povetkin: How Olympic super heavyweight champions have fared|
|Liverpool ´made a point´ with PSG victory - Gomez|
|Osaka wows Tokyo crowd on WTA return|
|Excited Povetkin arrives in England for Joshua showdown|
|Kovac patience with Sanches set to reap rewards|
|Kovac: Madrid strong without Ronaldo, Messi is the best|
|ATP suspends umpire Lahyani over Kyrgios ´pep talk´ at US Open|
|North and South Korea seek to co-host 2032 Olympics|
|Ampadu signs long-term Chelsea contract|
|Don´t blame Neymar, PSG players all guilty - Thiago Silva|
|Real Madrid seek to plug Ronaldo scoring gap – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Brewers allow Cardinals to inch closer with loss to Reds|
|Manchester is still red – Depay ahead of Lyon´s clash with City|
|Orioles become first pro team to wear braille jerseys|
|Klopp hails ´brilliant´ Henderson|
|PSG attack lacked aggression, says Tuchel|
|Atletico Tucuman 0 Gremio 2: Libertadores holders draw first blood in QFs|
|Thomas plays down wrist worry|
|Rakitic wants more from Barcelona hat-trick hero Messi|
|My players aren´t s*** – Pochettino defends Spurs squad|
|Cubs reliever Morrow won´t return this season|
|Tebow expected to be back in Mets organisation next season|
|Inter can compete against anyone – Icardi revels in Champions League victory|
|Tuchel: PSG loss to Liverpool not logical or correct|
|Sturridge in best shape I´ve seen – Klopp|
|Milojevic celebrates ´fantastic´ occasion after Red Star´s 26-year wait|
|Rodrigo and Simeone salute Griezmann display|
|Seahawks DE Clark on Bears QB Trubisky: He´s nothing special|
|Carroll says Wilson has been ´over-trying a little bit´|
|Judge returns to Yankees´ starting lineup|
|Napoli boss Ancelotti takes aim at Red Star time wasting|
|Favre admits young Dortmund stars struggled in Bruges|
|Otavio would trade goal for Porto victory as he bemoans Schalke draw|
|Championship Review: Pacesetters Leeds crush Preston, Villa end five-game winless run|
|Neymar world-class but not a defender - Klopp says Liverpool targeted PSG star|
|Waiters injury update: Heat guard unlikely to be ready for start of season|
18 de septiembre 2018
|Gojowczyk eliminates returning Tsonga in Metz|
|Liverpool enjoying best start in 57 years after PSG win|
|Galatasaray 3 Lokomotiv Moscow 0: Terim´s side make light work of Russians|
|Club Brugge 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Super sub Pulisic scores late winner|
|Schalke 1 Porto 1: Fahrmann saves one penalty, but Otavio scores another|
|Red Star Belgrade 0 Napoli 0: Points shared as Italians fail to make possession pay|
|Liverpool 3 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Firmino strikes late as Reds edge five-goal thriller|
|Monaco 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Costa and Gimenez seal comfortable win|
|Chaos reigns in Serie B as league denies suspension claim|
|India secure Asia Cup victory despite valiant Hong Kong effort|
|Messi makes "extraordinary routine", says Valverde after Barca star surpasses Ronaldo|