The match was delayed more than hour due to rain. There were no breaks of serve in the 1st set, either player was unable to get ‘deuce’ on opponent’s serve. In the tie-break Federer led 5:2 after D’Joke’s double fault, but served a double fault as well. The Serb saved a triple set point in impressive style, then the 4th set point, but at ‘7 all’ Federer deceived the rival with a tricky semi-lob during the rally – Djokovic was unprepared to play a backhand slice on a high bounce. It was their 11th tie-break and the longest one. Federer increased the level of play in the 2nd set, in the previous set he was concentrated mainly on his own service games, in the 2nd set stepped up and Djokovic (wore a cap in the meantime) lost his service games twice (3rd and 7th game; broke back at 3:3). The 3rd set was actually decided in the initial phase, the Serb made a break in the 2nd game and held his service games to get the set rather comfortably. It was a time when Djokovic loosened up himself and his more solid ground-strokes began to overwhelm Federer’s baseline game more and more prone to make errors. Especially the Serbian backhand was working tremendously well, and two breaks in the 4th set gave him leveling at two sets apiece, albeit he needed six set points to do it. The final set was exceptional… Nothing special in the first seven games, at 3:4 the serving Djokovic plays the worst game in the match (first point Federer’s winner, then two pathetic errors and double fault by Nole). Federer serves at 30-15, frustrated Djokovic throws away his cap, a moment later 5:3 (40-15) means two match points, quite good serve and Djokovic plays the best return in the entire match – cross-court forehand winner! He smiles and tries to make a contact with the crowd with his hands. Again first serve in, on the body, Djokovic blocks with a double-handed backhand and Federer’s forehand hits the tape, then lands outside the sideline, four points later Djokovic ribreaks! Next game, D’Joke holds to ’30’, fantastic ground-strokes in the following game, D’Joke breaks to ’15’ with two consecutive forehand winners. Federer can’t deal with the dramatic turn around, a couple easy mistakes of him produce another game to ’15’ for the Serb! Absolutely amazing, unprecedented stuff – second year in a row Djokovic beats Federer saving a double match point on the same court (!!) – last year he fought off those match points with forehand winners, after 11- and 5-stroke rallies. “It was a very similar situation to last year,” acknowledged Djokovic. “I had to take my chances. I was very close to being on my way back home. He was serving. He was 40/15 up. I managed to hit that amazing forehand return which got me back. I got a little bit of energy from the crowd, and I fought back. I needed to stay positive, and I definitely didn’t want the French Open to happen again. It was an incredible last two games“. Federer said: “It’s awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference. But it’s what it is. It’s the obvious, really. He came back; he played well. I didn’t play so well at the very end. Sure, it’s disappointing, but I have only myself to blame. I set it all up perfect, but I couldn’t finish it“.
The former and current Nos. 1 made their own trademark today, it was their fifth consecutive match in New York (all encounters at Arthur Ashe Stadium), there hadn’t been a pair before to play in a major more than four matches in a row #.
# The record – five consecutive Federer-Djokovic meetings at the US Open:
2007, F:Federer d. Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4 2008, SF:Federer d. Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 2009, SF:Federer d. Djokovic 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5 2010, SF: Djokovic d. Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 2 m.p. 2011, SF: Djokovic d. Federer 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 2 m.p.
# 5-set barometer:18-16 Federer; 13-5 Djokovic
(2)Rafael Nadal d. (4)Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 [3:24 h]
Well, Nadal is a much more worse match-up for Murray than both Federer and Djokovic #. Against ‘Fedjok’ Murray can count on some unforced errors, he is excellent in defense, so playing especially against Federer he has always a few chances to pass the Swiss obtaining important points. In a confrontation with Nadal, Murray is forced to adapt a more challenging style because the pace of the match is completely different, Murray needs to dictate the pace against a defensive and more efficient player like Nadal. Against the vast majority of players, the Brit is a sovereign at 10-12 stroke-rallies, it doesn’t work against Rafa, for whom it’s a kind of warm-up rally, he quite often plays rallies consisted of 20 strokes and more! It was their fourth meeting this year (all in the semi-finals) and every time the same scenario was realized – longer sets in terms of the match-time than the scoreline would suggest with Nadal as a winner without a special threat of being beaten. “For sure it’s an emotional day for me, winning against one of the best players in the world and reaching another final at the US Open,” assessed Nadal, “I have to play my game. I’ve beaten him in the past playing my game. The thing is playing my game very well. I need to be strong mentally all the time, fight every ball, believe in the victory in every moment. That’s something that for moments this year I didn’t do.” “If you want to judge someone’s whole career based on Grand Slams, then I would have had a terrible career. But I don’t really feel like I have,” said “the eternal No. 4” Murray, who became just the seventh player in the Open era to reach semi-finals at all slams within a season (Djokovic achieved this feat also in New York, one day before). Stats of the match
# Murray’s H2H’s against the Top 3:
– Novak Djokovic 4-6
– Rafael Nadal 4-13
– Roger Federer 8-6
## Top 4 seeded players in semi-finals at the US Open: