Roger Federer's hopes of adding to his record grand slam haul got a boost as he beat Spain's David Ferrer 6-3 1-6 6-2 to win the Western and Southern Open title in Cincinnati on Sunday (local time) in the last key US Open tune-up event.
It marked the sixth Cincinnati title for the Swiss second seed and, coming off last week's runner-up finish in Toronto, will give him plenty of confidence going into the year's final grand slam.
"I thought the final was good. The whole tournament was really good for me," Federer told ESPN. "I've been beating top 10 (players) along the way and just enjoying myself out on court, playing some positive tennis, so it's really encouraging."
Federer recorded the only break of the opening set for a 5-3 lead over his sixth seeded opponent and then did well to fight off four break points in the next game before wrapping up a tidy first set in 31 minutes.
But Ferrer quickly stole the match's momentum when he staved off four break points en route to prevailing in an 18-point game to open the second set.
Ferrer raced out to a 5-0 lead before Federer finally held serve but the 33-year-old Swiss was unable to avoid being pushed to a third set.
Federer found his groove in the decisive set, getting his second break of serve to open a 3-1 lead and then capping the match with yet another break to remain undefeated in 16 career meetings versus Ferrer.
"It feels great," said Federer, who beat fifth seed Milos Raonic and eighth seed Andy Murray en route to capturing his third trophy from eight finals this season.
"I really enjoy playing here. I've played some really good tennis here over the years, so it's really nice to come back and win it again."
The 17-times grand slam winner has not captured one of the sport's blue ribband events since Wimbledon in 2012 but is playing at a high level.