By Randy Walker
As Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer once again renew their storied rivalry in the 2014 Wimbledon men’s singles final, we are posting the top 5 victories for Federer over Djokovic as documented in my book “The Days of Roger Federer,” available for sale here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559378/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_n6VTtb183B1F4GB2 and where books are sold.
We also posted the top 5 wins for Djokovic over Federer, also excerpted from the book here: http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/10692
1) 2007 U.S. Open Final – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4
September 9, 2007 – Saving a combined total of seven set points, Roger Federer wins his 12th major singles title – and his fourth straight U.S. Open men’s singles title – defeating Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the final. Federer trails by a service break in each set and Djokovic holds five set points in the first set and two in the second, but is unable to put away the world No. 1. Jokes Djokovic following the match, “My next book is going to be called, ‘Seven Set Points.” Says Federer “I think straight sets was a bit brutal for Novak, to be honest. He deserved better than that. He’s had a fantastic run, not only this tournament but the entire year. I told him at the net ‘keep it up.’ We’re going to have many more battles I think.” Says the 26-year-old Federer of possibly breaking Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major titles, “I think about it a lot now. To come so close at my age is fantastic, and I hope to break it.”
2) 2011 French Open Semifinals – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)
June 3, 2011 – Roger Federer ends the 43-match win streak of Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open with a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory. Djokovic entered the match undefeated on the year and not having lost a match since Federer beat him on November 27 of the previous year in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London. “I wasn’t here to spoil the party,” says the No. 3-seeded Federer. “Almost feels, somewhat, like I’ve won the tournament, which is not the case. Silverware is still out there to be won, and I’m looking forward to the match with Rafa.” Says Djokovic of the loss, “A loss cannot feel good, that’s for sure, but, look, I know what to do. I handle myself better off the court, on the court. I’ll just accept it as another loss.” Two days later, Federer loses in the final at Roland Garros, falling to Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1.
3) 2009 U.S. Open Semifinals – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5
September 13, 2009 – Roger Federer executes perhaps the signature shot of his career, slamming a “tweener” passing shot winner past Novak Djokovic in his second-to-last point of his 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 semifinal victory at the U.S. Open. ‘That’s why it’s the greatest shot I ever hit in my life,” says Federer. “I was in a difficult position, I had nothing to lose. We (practice that) a lot actually but it never works.” Says Djokovic, “On those shots, you just say, ‘Well done, too good.’ What can you do?” Writes Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times of the famous shot, “On the next-to-last point of the match, Federer hit what he called the best shot of his life. Djokovic was serving and seemingly in control of the point, standing at the net and watching for his just-hit lob to land out of Federer’s reach. Except Federer materialized at the baseline just when the lob landed. With his back to the net, Federer swung the racket between his legs — and hit a clean winner past Djokovic. The crowd roared, and Federer’s forehand return winner that followed on match point was anticlimactic.”
4) 2012 Wimbledon Semifinals – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
July 6, 2012 – Roger Federer beats world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach a modern-record eighth Wimbledon final. “I have one more match to go. I’m aware of that,” says the 30-year-old Federer. “Still, it’s always nice beating someone like Novak, who has done so well here last year, the last couple years.” The win places Federer in his 24th major singles final, also a men’s record, against Britain’s Andy Murray, a semifinal winner earlier against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Writes Greg Garber on ESPN.com “Roger Federer reached back to his vintage years and took down the best player in the world.”
5) 2008 U.S. Open semifinals – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
September 6, 2008 – With Tropical Storm Hanna heading towards New York, Roger Federer is able to beat the weather, and Novak Djokovic, and advance into his fifth straight U.S. Open final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 victory, in a reprise of the previous year’s U.S. Open final. Federer is fortunate to finish his match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the other men’s semifinal match between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray is started on Louis Armstrong Stadium and not completed, Murray holding a two-sets-to-one lead before the rains cancel play for the day. “I’m happy I got my match through,” Federer says in his courtside interview. Of his form in his win, Federer tells reporters in his post-match press conference, “I had moments out there where I really felt, ‘This is how I normally play on hard court.’ You know, half volleys, passing shots, good serving, putting the pressure on, playing with the wind, using it to my advantage. I definitely had moments during today where I thought, ‘This is how I would like to play every time.’ So it was a very nice feeling to get that that feeling back.”
Honorable Mention – January 21, 2007 – In the third career meeting between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Federer remains undefeated against the 19-year-old Serbian with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win in the round of 16 of the Australian Open. “I’m very happy with how everything went,” says Federer of the win over the No. 14-seeded Djokovic. “He’s a good up-and-coming junior. He’s really made his marks now, the last six months especially, also in the beginning of the year. We’ve both been on some winning streak. “I was hoping for a good start and I got that. I thought I was pretty much in control all the time today.” Federer says he was a bit more motivated to play well against the future world No. 1, based on his recent strong play, winning nine straight matches including the title in Adelaide and the media hype that came into the match. “I think it’s more the media that hypes up all those things, asking a thousand questions about the next opponent. That kind of gets you going and fired up already,” says Federer. “I felt that was the case for the Djokovic match, whereas I didn’t have those questions leading up to the other matches. I feel like I’m being asked to kind of perform. I’m happy when I do, it’s a good feeling to come out and play well.”
Honorable Mention – September 24, 2006 – In his second career meeting with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer beats his 19-year-old future rival 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to clinch Switzerland’s Davis Cup Playoff Round series in Geneva. The one-sided scoreline for Federer marks the most lopsided scoreline between the two players in best-of-five matches are concerned. After the match, Federer criticizes the No. 21-ranked Djokovic for simulating injury. “You know I don’t trust his injuries, no it’s not funny, I mean I’m serious, and I think that he’s a joke when he comes down to these injuries,” Federer says. “The rules are there to be used but not abused and that’s what he’s been doing many times. That’s why I wasn’t happy to see him doing that and then running around like a rabbit again. Yeah it was a good handshake for me. I was happy to beat him.”
Honorable Mention – April 17, 2006 – Roger Federer faces Novak Djokovic for the first time his career and, despite 37 unforced errors, beats the 18-year-old 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Monte Carlo Open. Federer’s play is described as “sluggish” by media outlets as the world No. 1 commits 37 unforced errors against Djokovic, who advances into the tournament’s main draw via the qualifying tournament. “I’m satisfied to have won and relieved it’s over,” says Federer. “It was not easy. I didn’t play great but you need time to adapt to the surface.”
Honorable Mention – April 26, 2008 – Roger Federer advances into the final of the Monte Carlo Open when Novak Djokovic retires with breathing problems with Federer leading 6-3, 3-2. A curious highlight of the match comes with Federer leading 3-2 in the first set and the five-time Wimbledon champion turns to the Djokovic camp and tells them to “be quiet” after a close call on the baseline.
“The Days of Roger Federer” chronicles the trophy-laden career of Federer, one of the world’s most well-known, popular and respected athletes, regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time. The book is unique for its day-by-day format: every day of the calendar year is presented with a corresponding anniversary or a bit of fact or trivia, including hallmark victories, statistics, quirky happenings and quotations.
Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer (www.RogerFedererBook.com), “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryApp.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.