Tennis

Djokovic wins Grand Slam title number 10 in epic classic against Federer at Flushing Meadows

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer met in the final of the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows. Going into the match, it promised to be every bit as exciting as all their previous encounters.

Roger Federer was a firm fan favourite, as at most tournaments he competes at, having won the title five times previously. He was bidding for his sixth in front of a packed out Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The play did not begin as fans and the players would have hoped, due to a lengthy rain delay, which held play back by several hours.

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As they began their warm-ups, both players looked fresh and confident and it remained a mystery who would come out on top in a few hours time. Djokovic was hoping to tie up their 10-year rivalry 21-21 and secure grand slam title number 10.

In their first meeting at the tournament since 2011, Federer was perhaps playing the best tennis of his career after losing his world number one seeding that very year.

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Speaking prior to the match, when asked about Federer's new attacking tactic, it was evident it was maybe getting under the skin of Boris Becker and the rest of the Djokovic camp.

The 'Sabre' or 'Sneak Attack by Roger' deployed by the Swiss is how he beat Djokovic recently at Cincinnati and how he was so devastating in the earlier rounds of this tournament.

First Set

Djokovic had used the lengthy delay to his advantage, narrowly missing out on two break points in the opening game. He was able to capitalise on the three he had engineered for himself in Federer's second service game to lead 2-1.

Federer was on hand to answer straight back, with a first display of the Sabre in a rally that saw Djokovic take a nasty tumble, making the most of three break points to level the game up at 2-2.

Despite drawing blood, Djokovic quickly recovered and saw himself another break up, firing a lovely passing backhand past the advancing Federer and shortly had his first set point at 5-3 up. But the number two seed, resolute as ever held serve under pressure to stay in the set.

Djokovic confidently took the first set 6-4, Federer's first against his name throughout the whole tournament. Federer's magnificent and usually so reliable first serve had somewhat failed him in the first set, and he needed to rectify that if he was to be successful.

Second Set

The start of the second set showcased why these two men were perhaps the two greatest players the world has ever seen. It included some incredible shots and rallies that had the crowd in pure awe and disbelief.

With his serve being so reliable, Federer began to come into the net more, utilising his 'sneak attack' surprisingly to no avail, with Djokovic responding more than once with a couple of scintillating lobs.

Djokovic's astounding defence was epitomised by his routine brilliance time and time again, as neither player could find a break at 3-3.

The 10th game of the set saw some exhilarating tennis from both players as Federer had multiple set points, and could not seem to convert for love nor money. Djokovic held on to tie the set up at 5-5.

After holding serve again with relative ease, Federer finally wore down the resilient Serb with a sensational backhand to take the set 7-5, much to the delight of his loving crowd. And Federer showed his emotion by punching the air, as he knew just how important that set was.

Third Set

Djokovic grabbed the upper hand early on in the third, after an unusual error from Federer's forehand on serve, gave the Serb a break to take the lead 2-1.

But once again, the five-time champion was at hand to break straight back after an exciting game to once again level the set at 2-2.

At 4-3 up and 40 love down, Federer produced some inspirational tennis to claw his way back into the game. But he threw away two break points and Djokovic held on by the skin of his teeth at 4-4.

And the world number one proved his mental strength in the ninth game of the set when he broke Federer and went on to claim the third set, taking a two set to one lead. The Serb once again held his nerve in front of a crowd who quite clearly were behind Roger Federer.

Fourth Set

Djokovic may have ended Federer's title hopes in the very first game of the fourth set, with a dominant break of serve to take the lead 1-0. He will have believed that he had one hand on the trophy at this point.

And he stepped up his game by stunning the crowd and Federer alike by taking a 5-2 lead in the fourth and what was looking increasingly likely to be the final set.

Federer wasn't reading from the same script, as he secured a break and pulled the game back to 5-4, and the crowd was beginning to play a massive part in the match. Federer had the chance to break again to level the set up, but Djokovic slammed the door shut.

He was able to close out the game, making it his 21st win against Federer and claiming his 10th grand slam title and only his second US Open title. And the crowd and everyone watching paid their respects to two greats of the modern game, for a great final of this fabulous era.

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Topics:
US Open Tennis
Tennis
Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer

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