Current Head to Head between Federer v Djokovic (16-12)
One speaks six languages and is the ad man’s dream whereas the other is highly cultured and a brilliant mimic.
When they come together, the irrepressible force meets the immovable object, but the greatest winner is always the sport of tennis. Who else could it be but everyone’s favourite Swiss Roger Federer and the effervescent Serb Novak Djokovic. On the outside a continuous display of grace and power. On the inside one of the game’s greatest rivalries is at work, but on closer inspection the same analysis.
Federer at this point in time is the better player on both hard and grass courts. The gluten free kid holds his nemesis on clay. Between them they have a patent on the greatest Grand Slam rivalry ever having met 11 times at the time of writing.
Federer can use his agility to vary his shots a lot more and attack the net better but might struggle a bit in the longer rallies against the younger Serb. Off court, both have the greatest respect for each other. No tantrums – no sniping – just real gentlemen of the sport. It’s almost the male equivalent of Navratilova and Evert.
In 28 meetings, Federer leads the head to head against Djokovic with 16-12 and at Wimbledon earlier this year he became the first player ever to thwart Djokovic at all four Grand Slams as the Serb slipped in the rankings. You might say it confirmed Federers superiority. Novak does however enjoy being top dog at both Flushing Meadows and at the Australian Open.
There is one telling factor, however and it makes the whole showdown between them even more fascinating. The mimic is now at the height of his powers, the linguist might just be on the cusp of finding things tougher. One simply wouldn’t dare write Federer off – Wimbledon proved this beyond all doubt. But if the Serb is conquered, the Spanish legend lies in wait and vice versa – and now that Murray has been added to the list?
Djokovic is four years younger than Federer and can still celebrate the fact that he remains the youngest player in the open era to have reached the semifinals of all four Grand Slam events. His backhand is widely acknowledged as being one of the best in the sport, and his aggressive baseline play and incredible agility on court means he can hit winners from almost anywhere.
Federer’s dominance remains an outstanding achievement and there are more awards to come towards his way for sure. But how much longer can he dominate his Serbian counterpart who has simply had a magnificent last year and a fairly good year in 2012 so far? The Swiss is just as agile and remains at the peak of fitness. His great tactical intelligence is also a major factor in his continued success. To many he remains and will remain the greatest Tennis Player ever.
They are the only pair in Open era history to have met nine times in Grand Slam semi-finals, and the question is ……..how many more times will they square up at one of these big events?
The ATP classified the French Open 2011 semi-final and the US Open 2011 semi-final between these two greats amongst the greatest matches in tennis history. It all points to the fact there are quite a few more simmering contests between the pair to come.
The Australian Open of 2013 should make for an even better guide as to what we can expect in the future. Djokovic however, could well be on the verge of closing the gap between them. But don’t expect Federer to simply move aside. The great man will continue to push for sporting excellence and the Serb will need to keep working hard at his regime to make it count in the longer term.
There can be little doubt this is one of the sport’s greatest rivalries at present and as the book turns another page with Andy Murray’s arrival at the top table, the next chapter promises to be spellbinding in the extreme. Two great players – two fascinating characters – two great men!! A rivalry that sets all the pulses racing.