(For the Federer fans, you might want to read Conor's article here.)
The fun-loving Novak has had a quiet year at the slams, showing lots of promise but no substance. Now he has a chance to rectify that. Federer and Djokovic are now gearing up for a clash which may change the fate of Nole's year. So far it's been disappointment after disappointment but finally he's in a position to grab a big win.
The Serb has made his way to the semis of New York without much fuss... or quality. After an encouraging start, he put in a very patchy performance, almost finding himself in a losing position against an opponent ranked 272 places below him. However, towards the end of his last match (against Verdasco) he began to play some fantastic tennis... the sort of tennis that could beat Federer.
Will Win If:
The most important thing for Djokovic is for him to serve very well. If he can't win his service games without putting too much effort into them then he won't be able to live with Fed. However, The Swiss Genius has seemed a tad vulnerable at this year's US Open, so if Nole can keep up a high level for the whole match then he should be able to exploit the chinks in TMF's armour. Consistently good serving, along with controlled agression is what he'll need to defeat the world No. 1.
Will Lose If:
He cannot revert to counter-punching if he wants to win this match. It's very important that he plays like an aggressive baseliner and keeps believing in himself. If he loses his confidence then he'll just end up using his poor imitation of Murray's game. Murray couldn't beat him with that game last year and neither will Djokovic this year. He needs to flatten out his forehand and take Federer on with the sort of bull-headed determination that gave Nadal a winning record against this very same player.
You never know when Djokovic is gonna decide to utilise his talent to his fullest ability and put his all into a match. When he does that he's almost as dangerous as Federer at his best. And Federer doesn't seem to be at his best...
Nole in 4. They never play 5 sets and I've got a good feeling about Novak right now.