Novak Djokovic recalls Roger Federer loss: ‘He deserved to win’

Roger Federer was a player to beat at the end of 2010, winning four of the last eight tournaments from six finals. Roger wasted five match points in the Paris Masters semi-final against Gael Monfils and bounced back at the ATP Finals. The Swiss scored three round-robin wins to advance into the semi-final and defeated Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes to set the title clash against Rafael Nadal! It was Roger’s fourth victory against Novak from five encounters in 2010. He offered his rival only one break chance and took half of the return points to convert four out of 11 break chances and sail through. Djokovic praised Federer’s level after the match, saying it’s hard to beat him when he plays aggressive tennis and earns many free points with his initial shot. Roger dominated with his sharp serve and forehand.

He kept Novak outside the hitting zone and controlled the shortest and more extended exchanges to wrap up the victory and advance into the final. Federer kicked off the match with a hold at love after a forehand winner. He won four points in a row in game two for an early break following Djokovic’s costly double fault. The Swiss placed three winners in the third game to extend the lead before the Serb finally held in game four after an ace. Roger grabbed another break at 4-1 after Novak’s terrible volley at the net and fired a service winner in the next one to take the opener 6-1 in 31 minutes. Raising his level at the beginning of the second set, Novak made a comfortable hold and stole Roger’s serve to move 2-0 up. Another rock-solid service game pushed Djokovic further in front, looking good to grab the set and force a decider.

Roger Federer dropped only five games to Novak Djokovic at the 2010 ATP Finals.

However, Federer pulled the break back in game five after exceptional net coverage that left Djokovic furious and on the verge of slamming the ball into the stands. The Swiss held for 3-3 after a lightning-quick game, rattling off 12 of the last 15 points and gathering momentum. Djokovic fended off three break points in the next one and brought it home with a service winner. The Serb ended his downfall and sent the pressure to the other side. Facing possible troubles in the next game at deuce, Roger blasted two service winners for a crucial hold before breaking Novak a few minutes later after a powerful return. Serving for the victory, Federer delivered three winners in the tenth game to set the final clash against another great rival, Rafael Nadal.

“Roger was on top of his game; he played unbelievable tennis from the first moment. He was a better player today and deserved to win. After breaking me from 40-15 down in the first set’s second game, Roger gained a boost and cruised in the remaining ones. He played an intelligent game and did a lot of damage with the first groundstroke after the serve. He did not give me any time to try to get into the match, and it was 6-1 after only half an hour. I started playing better in the second set, but I still did not have a chance after struggling with my initial shots and a couple of volleys. Roger plays on a high level, every ball listens to him and he takes them early. It’s hard to beat him, as he does not give you free points. He pressures you and delivers aggressive tennis,” Novak Djokovic said.