Djokovic used two service breaks to stun the World No.2 6-4, 6-4 on Monday morning (AEST) to win his first title at the event.
Aug 19, 2018; Mason, OH, USA; Roger Federer (SUI) serves against Novak Djokovic (SRB) during the finals in the Western and Southern tennis open at Lindner Family Tennis Center. "It's the first time I get to stand with a winning trophy in Cincinnati".
"It´s been a roller-coaster week", he added after players dealt for days with lengthy rain interruptions.
"I finally won Cincinnati after six finals, some against the greatest ever, Roger".
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However there was to be no denying the Serb off the back of success at Wimbledon earlier in the year.
"Good week, but I'm happy it's over and I need to rest", added Federer, his eye on the US Open starting in NY in eight days.
Djokovic has won his last three matches against Federer and now holds a 24-22 advantage in their long rivalry.
Wimbledon champion Djokovic claimed his Masters record on his first match point and now heads to the US Open as a title favorite after several seasons of dismal form and an elbow injury which required surgical intervention. Federer is going for a career mark of his own - if he wins today, it will be his 99th singles title.
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Not for the first time he bemoaned a lack of relentlessness and mental toughness from his Wallabies as they let a 6-5 halftime advantage slip badly.
Federer, meanwhile, lost a final in the hardcourt US Open tuneup for the first time.
Federer was under pressure from the start, saving two break points before holding to win the first game.
But it began to unravel as the Swiss double-faulted to yield a break point, dropping serve as Djokovic moved ahead 4-3.
Djokovic broke that streak to go up 4-3 in the opening set, prompting Federer to mutter angrily.
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Djokovic was baffled when he was given a time violation warning following a changeover, but took that in his stride, a majestic forehand victor at full stretch putting him a break up at 4-3.