U.S. Open 2011: Another Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic Semifinal
I have always been a huge fan of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. However, I have always supported Djokovic just a tiny bit more. And I am hoping that the two repeat last year's final. Ironic if they end up meeting on a Monday again, just like last year.
In any case, the rivalry that gets viewers amped up this year is the Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic rivalry. No question in my mind, the French Open Semis was the biggest match of this year and definitely lived up to its billing. Interestingly, I thought, it was the first time that Djokovic was a clear pre-match favorite. That sort of amped up Federer, and you could see from his reaction after winning how fired up he was. That was his biggest win of the year and it brought that incredible streak of Novak's to an end.
I still firmly believe that Federer is the biggest obstacle to Djokovic's chances, far more than either Nadal or Andy Murray. Djokovic has certainly tamed Nadal and doesn't fear him, and he certainly doesn't fear Murray although theirs is still a battle of equals for the most part. It is Federer that clearly has Djokovic's full attention, and he knows that Federer has the arsenal to beat him.
The key for me again, is the Federer serve. If Federer can keep the first serve percentage high and also the mph on the first ball, it definitely makes life easier for Roger against the world's greatest returner, and puts the pressure on Novak during his service games. For all his success this year, I think Novak still has those moments where he is mentally vulnerable. And the player who can crack him more than anybody in that department is Federer.
This is a pick-up match. As much as I love Djokovic, I would have to give this one 51-49 to Federer. He just wants it more.
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