Saturday, 16 October 2010
Roger to play Andy in the Final
World No. 3 Roger Federer exacted revenge for his US Open semi-final defeat against Novak Djokovic on Saturday, when he defeated the Serbian 7-5, 6-4 to reach the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
In the final Federer will face Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who earlier defeated Juan Monaco in straight sets to reach his fourth tour-level final of the season. Federer trails Murray 5-7 in their head-to-head and will look to avenge the defeat he suffered against Murray in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto in August.
The 29-year-old Federer, who is the all-time leader with 221 wins at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, is bidding for a record-equaling 18th Masters 1000 trophy. The Swiss will contest his fourth Masters 1000 final of the season, having also triumphed in Cincinnati (d. Fish) and finished runner-up in Madrid (l. to Nadal).
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals qualifiers, Federer and Djokovic had been in impressive form in the lead-up to the eagerly anticipated semi-final and produced a high quality contest right from the start of their 17th meeting. In an 11-minute, 25-second fourth game, Federer was forced to save three break points with two big serves and a fine angled backhand winner to level at 2-2. Having weathered the early storm, the third-seeded Federer then capitalised on successive backhand unforced errors from Djokovic to break through in the 11th game and clinch a one-set lead.
Eager to capitalise on his momentum, Federer quickly broke down Djokovic’s defences in the second set as he raced to a 4-1 double-break lead. US Open runner-up Djokovic came out swinging to recoup one of the breaks and cut the deficit to 3-4, but could not take his comeback any further as Federer held strong to seal victory in one hour and 42 minutes.
The 23-year-old Djokovic also fell at the semi-final stage in Shanghai last year, losing out in a third-set tie-break to eventual champion Nikolay Davydenko. The Belgrade native saw his seven-match winning streak come to an end as he dropped to a 52-14 match record on the season. He came into Shanghai having won his 18th tour-level title (d. Ferrer) in a Monday final in Beijing.
“It was a very intensive first set and I didn't use the chances that I had,” lamented Djokovic. “When he got his second break point, he used it and finished off the set 7-5. The start of the second set, I lost my focus a little bit, my energy dropped. In the blink of an eye, I was two breaks down. So it was very hard to get back from that situation. I'm just disappointed a little bit because I think I've played quite well in the first set. He played some great shots when he needed to. So he deserved to win.”