Novak & Roger: The Rivalry, Matches 1-10
A recap of every match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer...
2009 Sony Ericsson Open semi-final, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Miami, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 36 62 63
Novak Djokovic recorded just his third win in 10 meetings with Roger Federer as he mastered the windy conditions where the Swiss failed to in the Miami semi-finals. Federer made the faster start to take the first set. However, he began to struggle with his rhythm and timing in the blustery conditions and crucial errors crept into his game. Breaks were exchanged at the start of the second set before Djokovic took control, reeling off seven straight games from 3-2 to level the match and take a commanding 4-0 lead in the decider. Federer overcame his frustration at his wayward play to recoup one of the breaks, but Djokovic held strong to close out victory in one hour and 46 minutes. It was Djokovic's first victory over Federer since the 2008 Australian Open semi-finals. "I definitely struggled with my timing, so it was a tough finish for me," admitted Federer. "I thought I was playing okay in the first set, but it was always going to be tough in the wind."
2008 US Open semi-final, New York, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 63 57 75 62
World No. 2 and four-time defending champion Roger Federer advanced to his 17th Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 victory over No. 3 Novak Djokovic in a rematch of last year's championship. Federer was attempting to become the first player since Bill Tilden in 1924 to capture five straight US Championship titles. Federer broke serve in the fourth game of the 25-minute first set, at 15-40 to take a 3-1 lead. The pair exchanged breaks in the second set, before Djokovic evened the match by breaking Federer in the 12th game on his third set point opportunity. Djokovic saved a break point in the first and third game of the third set, but in the 11th game, Federer broke at 30-40. The Swiss then served it out to take a 2-1 sets lead. Federer broke in the fifth and seventh games of the fourth set. He hit 20 aces and converted five of 12 break points while losing his serve twice in the two hour and 45-minute match. Federer hit 51 winners and committed 28 unforced errors compared to Djokovic's 43 winners and 47 errors.
2008 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-final, Monte-Carlo, clay, Federer d. Djokovic 63 32 ret. (illness)
Roger Federer reached the Monte-Carlo final when Novak Djokovic pulled out complaining of dizziness midway through the second set after 72 minutes of play. Djokovic said, "I didn't feel good for the last three days. I've been waking up with a sore throat. But I thought it's not going to be nothing special. But obviously when you're playing against the World No. 1, you obviously get a lot of balls back and longer points, and I just couldn't get enough energy back after each point. I needed a lot of time. And I just decided not to risk anything. I feel dizziness a little bit in the last three days."
2008 Australian Open semi-final, Melbourne, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 75 63 76(5)
Novak Djokovic reeled off 13 aces and hit 50 winners to beat Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The 20-year-old Serbian held serve when a break would have changed momentum and handed Federer his first straight sets loss at the Australian Open since the 2000 and 2001 first rounds to Arnaud Clement. Federer had the chance to serve for the first set at 5-3. Djokovic broke twice to win that set and twice more to get to 5-1 in the second in an 11-game sequence that changed the match. Federer, who had been bidding to reach his 11th straight major final, later admitted, "Of course, I've created a monster. So I know I need to always win every tournament." Djokovic drew on his experience in his 2007 US Open final, knowing the pressure was mounting on his rival after such an imperious run. "I am just very amazed I coped with the pressure today," said Djokovic. "In the most important moments, I played my best tennis. It's just amazing, indescribable, to beat the World No. 1, one of the best players this sport has ever had, in straight sets." Djokovic went onto play World No. 43 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.
2007 US Open final, New York, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 76(4) 76(2) 64
Roger Federer became the first man since Bill Tilden in the 1920s to win the US Championships four years in a row and at 26 years of age the Swiss was now two major titles shy of equalling Pete Sampras' career record of 14 titles. Federer, the World No. 1 for 188 weeks in a row, drew on his greater experience to beat major final debutant Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4. Djokovic, 20, led 6-5 in the opening two sets. In the first, he held five set point opportunities. He was 6-5 and serving at 40/0. In the second, he missed two. "My next book is going to be called, 'Seven Set Points,'" said Djokovic. Federer admitted, "New guys challenging me - this is my biggest motivation out there. Seeing them challenging me, and then beating them in the finals." Federer took home a Grand Slam championship-record $2.4 million in prize money - $1.4 million for winning, plus a $1 million bonus because he finished atop the US Open Series standings. From 1970 to 2005, no man had reached all four Grand Slam championship finals in a calendar year. Federer had achieved that feat two years in a row.
2007 Rogers Cup final, Montreal, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 76(2) 26 76(2)
Novak Djokovic made history by becoming the first player to beat the world's Top 3 players in the same tournament since Boris Becker defeated No. 3 Michael Stich, No. 1 Pete Sampras and No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic in succession at 1994 Stockholm. Third seed Djokovic earned $400,000 in prize money after producing a brilliant display of shot-making to beat World No. 1 and two-time former titlist Roger Federer 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(2) in the Rogers Cup final at Montreal. The 20-year-old Serb saved six set points in the first set, but defending champion Federer fought back to level the score-line by winning the second set. Djokovic, who had never beaten Federer in their four previous meetings, took the fight to the top seed in the decider and finally wrapped up the match in two hours and 12 minutes. "This first set was really crucial I can say," said Djokovic. "The first set was really important, I saved a couple of set points and I had 40-0 and 5-5 on my serve but I lost it and then after that I really fight for every point and I managed to win that first set which was really important. And to win two tie-breaks against the World No. 1, probably the strongest player mentally on the tour, it's another achievement, it's another success so I'm really, really happy."
2007 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-final, Dubai, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 63 67(6) 63
Roger Federer, bidding for his fourth Dubai title, after successes in 2003-2005, required just over two hours to beat World No. 14 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 for a place in the semi-finals. Federer's consistency of serve proved the game-changer as he won 74 per cent of his first service points and saved three of five break points.
2007 Australian Open fourth round, Melbourne, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 62 75 63
Roger Federer hit 12 aces and dropped just 20 points on serve in a totally dominant performance over Novak Djokovic, recording a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win in just one hour and 50 minutes that had the Rod Laver Arena on its feet. Federer would go onto become the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a Grand Slam championship without losing a set.
2006 Davis Cup World Group Play-off, Switzerland vs. Serbia & Montenegro, Geneva, Federer d. Djokovic 63 62 63
Switzerland led 2-1 going into the first reverse singles rubber, after Federer had beaten Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets and Djokovic had edged Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Djokovic, who had risen 60 places to World No. 21 in the past 12 months, was overawed by Federer losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to give Switzerland an unassailable lead.
2006 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters first round, Monte-Carlo, clay, Federer d. Djokovic 63 26 63
Federer started his Monte-Carlo campaign chasing his third Masters 1000 title of the season. He looked sluggish against 18-year-old qualifier Djokovic, making uncharacteristic, unforced errors. The Swiss looked in control in the first set but struggled in the second, dropping serve twice before losing the set by firing a straightforward forehand wide. Djokovic, though, ran out of steam in the decider, despite saving three match points before hitting a forehand long on the fourth to give Federer a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win in one hour and 49 minutes. "I'm satisfied to have won and relieved it's over," said Federer. "It was not easy. I didn't play great but you need time to adapt to the surface."