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."
|Ryder Cup 2018: USA celebrities take the honours|
|Manchester United´s torrid penalty shoot-out run continues against Derby|
|Guardiola: Foden already a great, great player|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Huesca 0: Rojiblancos cruise ahead of Madrid derby|
|EFL Cup: Lampard dumps out Mourinho, Burnley lose at Burton Albion|
|Mourinho denies Pogba row despite stripping midfielder of vice-captaincy|
|Fabinho situation not complicated, insists Klopp|
|Manchester United 2 Derby County 2 (Derby win 8-7 on pens): Lampard heaps pressure on Mourinho|
|Afghanistan snatch tie after Shahzad pummels India|
|Inter 2 Fiorentina 1: D´Ambrosio maintains Nerazzurri revival|
|Oxford United 0 Manchester City 3: Foden stars as EFL Cup holders cruise into round four|
|Cousin takes Gabon post after Aubameyang rejection|
|Bayern Munich 1 Augsburg 1: Neuer error costs champions|
|Paris Saint-Germain must be a Champions League force to help Neymar - Baptista|
|Salgado warns of ´war´ in Spanish football|
|Cech deserves Arsenal place, says Seaman|
|Halep and Garcia among seeds to fall in Wuhan|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes taking no comfort in points advantage|
|Benitez charged by FA for referee comment relating to Zaha treatment|
|Cibulkova dumps out hampered Halep in Wuhan|
|Mourinho questions his players amid reports Pogba won´t captain United again|
|European Ryder Cup diary: Fleetwood´s hair delights Poulter|
|USA Ryder Cup diary: Tiger´s roaring reception, McEnroe´s bold prediction|
|Loans to be limited under new FIFA proposal|
|Prolific Nadolo signs new Montpellier contract|
|Modric? For us, Messi is the best – Valverde|
|Murray makes winning start in Shenzhen|
|Mickelson would cherish first victory on European soil|
|Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa|
|Woodward in show of support for under-fire Mourinho|
|Mickelson jokes he wants ´a shot a side´ from Tiger in Thanksgiving showdown|
|Reed: Captain America is a villain in Europe|
|Duminy to captain Proteas as Elgar replaces injured Amla|
|No Tottenham timeline for Lloris, Vorm returns|
|Woods ready for ´awesome environment´ on Ryder Cup opening hole|
|Tony Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Oleksandr Usyk|
|Tuchel explains why he likes Neymar at number 10|
|Manchester United smash revenue record but profits down|
|Furyk downplays Ryder Cup pairings talk, says Tuesday is about individuals|
|Rejuvenated Tiger out to improve poor Ryder Cup record|
|Saunders fined £100,000 for ´sickening´ online video|
|Hazard can reach his full potential with Sarri´s Chelsea - Zola|
|Ryder Cup heading back in Europe´s direction, says Niall Horan|
|Wow! Klopp hails Sarri´s Chelsea transformation|
|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|