It's a matchup of tennis elites in the 2015 U.S. Open men's singles final. No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic will take on second seed Roger Federer Sunday in New York. Djokovic is looking to capture his first U.S. Open title since 2011, and third Grand Slam of the calendar year after capturing titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. For Federer, it's another chance to win his 18th Grand Slam title and first since 2012.
Djokovic absolutely waxed defending champion Marin Cilic in the semifinal Friday. He needed all of 85 minutes to wrap up a resounding 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 victory. A class act, Djokovic was quick to point out after the match that Cilic was dealing with a significant injury, per TSN's Mark Masters:
Mark Masters @markhmasters
Djokovic all class ... points out that Cilic dealing with ankle injury ... calls him "courageous" for coming out & finishing match2015-9-11 22:50:04
Federer also cruised to a straight-sets victory, polishing off No. 5 seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
This high-profile pairing is in stark contrast to the women's singles final, which will be an all-Italian affair between unseeded Roberta Vinci—who pulled off one of the great upsets in defeating calendar Grand Slam-hopeful Serena Williams in the semifinal—and No. 26 seed Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Simona Halep in her semifinal match.
Here's the schedule for the championship match between Djokovic and Federer.
2015 U.S. Open Men's Singles Final Viewing Info
Date: Sunday, September 13
Court: Arthur Ashe Stadium
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
As great as Djokovic is, Federer might actually be the slight favorite in this contest. Sure, he's 34 years old and hasn't won the U.S. Open since 2008, but few players have ever made a major tournament run look so effortless.
Federer hasn't yet dropped a set at Flushing Meadows. Of the six players he's faced only one, big-serving American John Isner, managed to win more than four games in any set. And it's not like No. 29 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, Richard Gasquet and Wawrinka are cupcakes.
ESPN Stats & Info noted there's also a bit of poetic justice in his making this final:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Roger Federer is the oldest men's finalist at the US Open since Andre Agassi in 2005, who was 35 years old. Federer beat Agassi that day.2015-9-12 01:33:49
Pam Shriver put it succinctly, but perhaps best:
Pam Shriver @PHShriver
GOAT playing his GOAT tennis @usopen @ESPNTennis @rogerfederer2015-9-12 00:53:33
Federer's peerless placement, brilliant passing shots and newest little maneuver—the half-volley return shot dubbed "Sneak Attack by Roger," or SABR—have baffled all his opponents here thus far.
However, if there's one player who might derail this magnificent tournament run—and with Serena out, all the attention goes now to Federer—it's Djokovic.
Djoker's consistency is remarkable, his ability to whack powerful shots from deep beyond the baseline is marvelous. His win over Cilic was historically lopsided, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Novak Djokovic beats Marin Cilic losing three games the entire match, becoming the biggest win in semifinals of US Open in the Open Era.2015-9-11 22:48:13
Unlike Federer, Djokovic has actually dropped sets at this year's U.S. Open (just two, so don't overthink it). The Swiss legend knows their matches are bound to provide exciting tennis.
“I think it’s just a straight shootout,” he said, via David Waldstein of the New York Times. “I think that’s the cool thing about our rivalry. It’s very athletic.”
Sure, there's going to be plenty of NFL action on Sunday, but it's just Week 1. It's worth keeping the remote handy. With the top two players in men's tennis both in immaculate form, the court on Arthur Ashe Stadium is where you're most likely to witness something historic and memorable.