Call It Class: Roger Federer Commands Novak Djokovic in Basel; What Next?

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Call It Class: Roger Federer Commands Novak Djokovic in Basel; What Next?
A reversal of roles: Roger Federer kisses the Basel trophy

Call it class.  Call it Roger Federer.  

As much as a French martini has class, it can't match that of Roger Federer's game. In a sublime display of shotmaking, Roger Federer overcame a fluid Novak Djokovic to capture his 65th career singles title, putting him in outright fourth place in all-time singles titles.  

The season has gotten better and better for Roger Federer.  It wasn't long ago when we saw Federer squander match points to lose a match.  

It wasn't long ago when we saw Federer vanquished by heavy hitters at the Grand Slams.  It wasn't long ago when we saw Federer slip to No. 3 in the world.  It wasn't long ago: but it wasn't close enough.

Roger Federer left behind his nightmares heading into this match, and this final was nothing but expected. What was unpredictable was the result.  Federer or Djokovic? Djokovic or Federer?  

Last year, it was the Djoker who outclassed Federer 6-4 4-6 6-2.  This year, a similar score line.  This year, a different champion.  

2009's champion and 2009's runner up started the match with some contentious games, but the 2009 runner up broke free from last year's champion by winning the first set 6-4.

But with a champion's play, Djokovic stormed back with brutal backhands to claim the ever shifting momentum.  Even Federer wasn't able to stop the Djokovic onslaught, yielding the second set to the Serb, 6-3.

Federer held his ground in the third; in fact, he took down Djokovic's "ground" and broke Djokovic's serve twice.  With ever increasing confidence, Federer served for the match.  The victory came when he popped a backhand to the open court to take the third set 6-1.

The Federer-Djokovic saga is a fascinating rivalry: they have met each other 4 times in the past 3 months, and 18 times in total.  18 times in about 4 and 1/2 years is remarkable.  Here's a fact to put this in perspective:

The Federer-Roddick rivalry has lasted for nine years, yet the have met only 21 times.

At this rate, the Fed-Djoko rivalry can surpass the Fed-Nadal rivalry.  Federer and Djokovic are both excellent players who excel at all surfaces.  Both play superbly on clay, admirably on grass, and first class on hard court.  

Any time these two play together, the matches are nothing less than supposed to be. These two players are the players, winners and losers, professionals.  Whenever they play, however, tennis is the real winner.

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On that note, let's take a look of what two expect in the next tournament: BNP Paribas Masters (Paris)

*This is not a preview of the tournament, only of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Fed and Nole both have plenty of momentum behind them.  Here are their most recent results to show:

Tournament Roger Federer Novak Djokovic
Toronto Finals Semifinals
Cincinnati Win Quarterfinals
New York Semifinals Finals
Stockholm Win -      
Beijing - Win
Shanghai Finals Semifinals
Basel Win Finals

 

After winning and playing numerous matches, Federer and Djokovic may be a little worn out.  Like all champions,though, both Basel finalists should make a deep run, if not a run all the way.

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Next time you tune into some tennis, remember this quote from Andre Agassi: "I wasn't the winner, tennis was."

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