The battle between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for a place in the 2011 French Open final on Sunday will be the ultimate test between the coolest and the hottest players on the men's tour at the moment.
On the line are the No. 1 ranking, tying John McEnroe's record winning streak of 44 matches and perhaps, Grand Slam No. 17.
The semifinal at the French Open on Friday will feature the top four men's seeds––(1) Rafael Nadal, (2) Novak Djokovic, (3) Roger Federer and (4) Andy Murray. It promises to be a blockbuster Friday with the top four men’s seeds in action.
For the 12th time in the history of the Open Era of tennis, men ranked first through fourth are appearing in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. The last time it happened at the French Open was 2006.
Two of the men at the top of the men’s game, No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 2 Novak Djokovic, have met 22 times since their first meeting in 2006. Federer leads their head-to-head 13-9 at present, but Djokovic has defeated the Swiss the last three times they met in 2011.
Next up on their dance card is the encounter on Friday on the grounds of Stade Roland Garros in the semifinals––for a chance to advance to the French Open finals. The winner will meet the winner of the semifinal contest between No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 4 Andy Murray on Sunday.
For a resurgent Federer, the chance of winning Slam No. 17 as well as silencing his critics offers a great incentive to do his utmost.
For Djokovic, defeating Federer on a surface other than hard courts will add another cup of confidence to the Serb’s recipe for success. Also, achieving the World No. 1 ranking is on the line for the Serb.
You can bet that Nadal will be hoping to meet Federer in the 2011 French Open final and you can also bet that Federer hopes to meet Andy Murray in the final.
At this point, Djokovic doesn’t really care––he just wants to be standing on Sunday, playing in that match on Court Phillippe Chatrier for that famous trophy.