Young Novak Djokovic: ‘Roger Federer dominates everyone but Rafael Nadal’

Alongside Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic was among the most notable youngsters at the end of 2006. The Belgrade native won two ATP titles that year, advanced to his first Major quarter-final at Roland Garros and earned over 60 places on the ATP ranking list for a perfect position ahead of the new campaign. Djokovic opened the 2007 action in Adelaide, lifting the third ATP trophy following a tight win over Chris Guccione and preparing for the season’s first Major in Melbourne. Novak had two early exits at the Australian Open in the past two years and fixed that with a commanding victory over Nicolas Massu and another against Feliciano Lopez. Novak ousted Danai Udomchoke in four sets in the third round to arranging the expected encounter against world no. 1 and the defending champion Roger Federer.

Novak Djokovic lost to Roger Federer at the Australian Open 2007.

It was their third meeting, and the Swiss grabbed the third win over the young opponent, beating Novak 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes for a place in the quarters. Roger barely put a foot wrong behind the initial shot, suffering one break and stealing 45% of the return points to steal Novak’s serve five times and control the pace. Federer landed 50 winners and managed his strokes efficiently, giving him the upper hand in the quickest and mid-range exchanges. The Swiss prevailed in the second set’s decisive moments and sailed towards the finish line in the third. After the match, Novak praised Roger and stated he barely feels the pressure in the pivotal moments, always finding the best solutions and standing superior against all the rivals who want to take the throne from him. 

“The difference of playing against Roger and other rivals is how confident and perfect he appears on the court in some situations. It almost feels there’s no pressure on his side of the court, and that’s strange because he is there against all the opponents who want to take the no. 1 spot from him; he is so superior. He knows he is the best, facing all the rivals from the top and having a positive score with all of them except Rafael Nadal. That makes him comfortable. Also, I believe he is improving his game all the time, which is not easy; he plays better and better every time,” Novak Djokovic said.