No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Roger Federer for the U.S. Open title is now set in stone.
Tennis fans are getting just the matchup they hoped for when the tournament began, and as the action in New York unfolded, there seemed very little chance they would see anything but the best two players in the world compete for the American national championship.
However, when top-seeded Serena Williams and second-seeded Simona Halep both lost on the women's side of the draw Friday, it reminded tennis fans that anything was possible and neither Djokovic nor Federer had a guaranteed spot in the final.
However, Djokovic was not about to let his opportunity to play for a spot in the championship round slip through his grasp. He dominated defending champion Marin Cilic from start to finish and never let him in the match. Djokovic advanced to the final with a 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 thrashing.
Cilic was not at his best and he had a difficult time moving laterally on the court. Any time Djokovic sent the ball into one of the corners and forced Cilic to move left to right or right to left with any degree of quickness, he simply couldn't make the move. Djokovic won eight of the 10 games on Cilic's serve.
|2015 U.S. Open: Championship Match|
|Novak Djokovic (1)||Roger Federer (2)||Arthur Ashe||4 p.m.||ESPN||ESPN3|
"Obviously it felt great to be able to perform as well as I did today at this stage of a tournament," Djokovic said after the match (h/t ATPworldtour.com). "Knowing that Marin carried that (ankle) injury for last couple of matches. I didn't allow that fact to distract me too much."
Shortly after Djokovic left the court, the redoubtable Federer took over and put on his own show against fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka. Federer didn't run over Wawrinka with as much force as Djokovic took down Cilic, but it was another one-sided triumph. Federer reeled off a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Djokovic and Federer have met 41 times in their rivalry, and Federer holds a narrow 21-20 lead.
Both men have been overpowering this year. Djokovic will be playing in his 11th consecutive final, a number that speaks to his consistency and hunger.
Djokovic has reeled off a 47-3 match record in 2015, and he has won five tournaments. If he can beat Federer and win the U.S. Open, it will be his third Grand Slam title of the year.
Federer has simply been on fire since losing to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. He rolled to a victory in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last month, and he has continued to play superbly in New York.
In the Cincinnati tournament, Federer did not lose a single game on his serve, and that included the championship round when he defeated Djokovic in straight sets.
Federer has won three tournaments this year and he has a 35-6 match record.
Federer and Djokovic will square off Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It's a match that tennis fans have waited patiently for since the first match was played August 31. There are just two more days before these two titans get to square off once again.