Switzerland’s Federer defeated Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-1 7-5 in the last major tournament (the final of the Cincinnati Open), leading into the US Open.
This was the 3rd straight year that these 2 players have squared off against each other at the US Open. Djokovic pictured above was looking to reach great heights so was hoping it would be 3rd time lucky for him.
The following is a selection of the most interesting things excerpted from Federer and Djokovic pre & post match interviews.
Federer’s comments about playing Djokovic: “Obviously a tough match. He’s done well against me in the past, but I beat him in Cincinnati and I hope I can build on that, and try to beat him again here.”
From Roger’s words it seems his plan was to focus on playing his own game, draw on the confidence and the strategy he used in their last big match in the Cincinnati final.
Former Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic shared great insight into what everyone needs to do in order to improve their game: “But, you know, all the times it’s ups and downs. In one period, forehand works and other, it doesn’t. So you always try ‑‑ it’s a mental game. It’s a mental challenge, and you obviously always have to be focused and try to work hard on the things and maintain that level of performance.”
The 22 year old Djokovic on what it all boils down to against Roger in their semi-final, “There is no secrets in each other’s game, so I just ‑‑ it’s a matter of good day. I hope I can have a good day and concentrate.” Djokovic’s mental state fluctuated throughout the match, his on court persona and body language did not project confidence and self-belief. He has the talent and the game, his mental toughness is the area he needs the most work on.
Federer went on to repeat his victory in straight sets in the men’s semi-finals of the US Open against Djokovic in 3 sets 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-5. The match was close but Federer produced the goods when it counted, including an amazing through the legs shot to bring up triple match point.
Federer thought he got through these close sets because, “I think towards the end of the sets, you know, I got in some good returns, and that allowed me then to actually go after my shots a bit more. But then it’s hard. I got off a good start on many occasions towards the end, and so I’m very happy that, you know, in those important moments I was able to come up with the goods.”
Federer hit an amazing screaming winner past Djokovic at the net, that he hit through his legs, as he was running down a lob AND with his back facing the net! Federer’s agreed that it was the best shot he has played in his life.
“Well, I would think so. I mean, even though it’s I think the third or fourth time I hit it in a match now, the way I was able to hit it, you know, with pace and accuracy, it’s something that happens so, so rare.” See the shot on You Tube by clicking this link -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVQhIEPbM0g
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further updates about the 2009 US Open singles events. Click this link to see an index of all 2009 US Open posts -> US Open 2009: Aug 25 – Sep 14.
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2009
photo credit: GavinZ