Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic: Breaking Down the Semi Everyone Was Hoping For

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Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic: Breaking Down the Semi Everyone Was Hoping For
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The other semifinal features a five-time winner of this tournament, but the matchup everyone is looking forward to on Friday at the French Open is between 2009 champion Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who enters this battle with a 43-match winning streak.

It's unusual for the 16-time Grand Slam champion to fly under the radar, but that's exactly what Federer has done as the No. 3 seed at Roland Garros. He's proceeded through five matches without dropping a single set—despite playing three seeded players—on the way to his third consecutive major semifinal.

In fact, Federer has now reached a record 28 straight Grand Slam quarters, but when it comes to the greatest player of all time, it's title or bust, and he has now gone 16 months without adding to his collection, the longest such streak since Federer won his first major at Wimbledon in 2003.

Even more shocking, Federer hasn't played in a Grand Slam final since winning last year's Australian Open. In order to break that streak, he'll need to beat the hottest tennis player on the planet.

Djokovic trails the all-time head-to-head series, 13-9, but he's won three straight meetings during his current undefeated run. The Serb took down Federer in straight sets at the Aussie Open semis, then beat him again on the hard courts of Dubai and Indian Wells.

In those three matches, Djokovic had a better first-serve percentage by at least seven points, and was able to convert a total of 14 break points, while Federer only broke serve seven times. Federer needs to be more effective on his first serve in order to hang with the Serb.

They haven't met on clay since the ATP World Masters in Rome two years ago, which was Djokovic's only win over Federer on the surface. Federer won the other two meetings on clay in 2006 and '08.

 

Follow me on Twitter at @   JordanHarrison.

Jordan is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. 

He can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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