Saturday, September 10, 2011

Novak Djokovic Shows His Heart While Roger Federer Fades Away

Five-time US Open Champion Roger Federer is quickly turning into Andy Murray, coming close but not close enough in Grand Slam Tournaments.  He appeared to have today's US Open semi-final match against Novak Djokovic well in hand before he seemed to completely shut down.  Djokovic managed to pull out an amazing come-from-behind win 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

Photo: Suzy Allman/New York Times
For the first two sets, Djokovic seemed to struggle to find his rhythm.  Frustrated, he seemed to determine to regain his energy coming onto the court for the third set, and it was almost as if Federer recognized that. The change in Federer's play was telling, going from a more attacking style to a purely reactionary and conservative one that did nothing for him.

However, if Federer struggled with his confidence for the third and fourth sets, he certainly seemed to find it again at the beginning of the fifth.  He was able to break Djokovic's service game to go up 5-3, but Djokovic was able to save two match points and break Federer back.

It seemed over for Federer after that, when Djokovic held serve, broke Federer again, then finished out his service game for the match.
"It was definitely the biggest win of this year, one of the biggest wins of the career, under the circumstances," Djokovic said. "I was two sets down. Roger was in control, he was playing better and then I switched gears and I managed to play much better in three sets."
The men's tennis game certainly seems to be composed of mainly Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal competing for Slams, with Federer and Andy Murray providing decent competition along the way.  Maybe 2012 will see another player rise up and contend along with these four, but until then, it's at least highly entertaining tennis.

In any case, here's hoping the US Open Final between Djokovic and Nadal is just as good (or, perhaps better) than today's match.

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