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."
|Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019|
|Bjorn backs ´phenomenal´ Rahm to continue trend of Spanish success|
|Durant in no rush to decide Warriors future|
|Rossi to face anti-doping hearing|
|Mignolet to return for Liverpool against Chelsea|
|Premier League ´interesting´ for Germany boss Low|
|Wilder wins Twitter vote to be Joshua´s next opponent|
|BREAKING NEWS: Isco an El Derbi doubt due to appendicitis|
|Juventus won´t rest Ronaldo ahead of Napoli clash|
|Slater cleared to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Top seed Begu sent packing in Tashkent|
|This isn´t my last hurrah in Ryder Cup, insists Poulter|
|Barba back in NRL with North Queensland Cowboys|
|Arsenal wait on Mkhitaryan and Sokratis|
|All Blacks wary of Pumas pack ahead of Buenos Aires Test|
|Ryder Cup has special place in Pep Guardiola´s heart, says Fleetwood|
|Mbappe ready to take over from Messi and Ronaldo, says Trezeguet|
|Molinari: Ryder Cup pressure far outweighs any major|
|Koepka heads PGA Tour´s Player of the Year nominations|
|Lampard: Mourinho still a great manager|
|United States and Europe reveal Ryder Cup practice groupings|
|Bulldogs´ fine for ´Mad Monday´ antics halved|
|Bennett to leave Broncos after 2019 NRL campaign|
|American League postseason picture becomes clear|
|Steelers edge Buccaneers for first win|
|Gatland wants Webb available for World Cup|
|Modric: Ronaldo, Messi out of this world but my season deserved recognition|
|Love says Cavs ´will surprise a lot of people´|
|George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season|
|Messi is the greatest ever – Eto´o|
|Messi to miss Argentina´s upcoming friendlies|
|Dolphins say Hayes tore ACL attempting to avoid roughing-the-passer penalty|
|Modric deserved FIFA Best award – Ramos|
|Thibodeau open to potential Butler trade|
|Modric wanted Ronaldo, Messi at awards ceremony|
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|Ronaldo, Messi lacked respect with FIFA Best awards snub - Capello|
|New Zealand the benchmark but England can win World Cup - Mitchell|
|FIFA Best Award a dream come true for Modric|
|Lakers a long way from Warriors, warns LeBron|
|Milner pokes fun at Salah´s Puskas Award win|
|Josh Rosen to replace Sam Bradford as Cardinals starting quarterback|
|Kaymer: Home-course advantage crucial to Europe hopes|
|Marta and Pedros win FIFA Best awards|
|I want to be in Toronto - Kawhi Leonard focused on Raptors, not future|
|Messi and Ronaldo lead FIFPro World XI as Salah and Neymar miss out|
|Knicks´ Kristaps Porzingis ´itchy´ to return but won´t commit to 2018-19 season|
|Modric beats Ronaldo and Salah to FIFA Best prize|
|49ers confirm ACL tear for QB Garoppolo|
|Salah beats Bale and Ronaldo to Puskas Award|
|Deschamps wins FIFA Best Men´s Coach award|
|Law to leave Windies for Middlesex role|
|Sunderland terminate Ndong´s contract|
|Spalletti warns rejuvenated Inter against complacency|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Figo in town as USA arrive in style|
|Browns name Baker Mayfield starting QB|
|Chelsea need to be more versatile, warns Giroud|
|Paris Saint-Germain FFP case referred by UEFA back to CFCB Investigatory Chamber|
|Busy Bertens ready for bed, Muguruza gains Wimbledon revenge|
|Hart ready if England come calling - Dyche|
|Ryder Cup 2018: An honour and a burden - the unique challenge of captaincy|
|Hibino beats Bouchard again at the Tashkent Open|
|Falcons lose Ricardo Allen for season|
|Mbappe three-match ban stands following appeal|
|Tomic wins first Tour-level match since Wimbledon in Chengdu|
|Ryder Cup diary: Scoreboard shocker, captains tight-lipped|
|Mourinho will spawn lots of managers - Lampard|