After five encounters in 2012, all of which came in the later stages of Grand Slam of Masters events, Roger Federer (Player Profile) and Novak Djokovic (Player Profile) will step onto Court Central in Paris for their first match opposite each other in 2013. Of their 29 previous encounters, Federer has won 16 to Novak’s 13. Check out the Federer v Djokovic Head to Head.
Djokovic got off to a scintillating start in the quarter-final as he broke Stan Wawrinka in his opening service game and rushed to a 3-0 lead. The Swiss would only win one game in the entire opening set, which finished with 6-1 in a mere 28 minutes. The fault was not in Stan’s level of play, but it was Djokovic who came out with a ruthless intent to demolish his opponent in lightning fashion. The first four games of the second set lasted two minutes longer than the entire opening set, with both competitors fending off multiple break point opportunities. In the seventh game, Djokovic was finally able to break ahead at 4-3 and consolidated it by holding serve fairly easily. From there on, it was a matter of time before Novak would book his spot in the semi-finals of this year’s tournament.
Five days removed from his final loss at the Basel Open, Federer was back on court against Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who defeated him, only this time with vastly different results. The 17-time Grand Slam champion came onto Court Central with a fire that we have rarely seen over the past few months and produced some mouthwatering shots that had the Parisian crowd electrified. Roger started the first set is superb fashion, as he raced to a 4-1 lead against the Argentine. He would go on to hit 17 winners with only four unforced errors in the entire set to finish at 6-3 in just over 30 minutes.
The second set was a tighter affair, with both players holding serve through the first nine games before a mental lapse from the former No. 1 allowed Del Potro to capitalize and even the score with a 6-4 second set. Four games into the third set, the two competitors exchanged break multiple times until Federer was finally able to hold serve at 5-3. Del Potro failed to stay in the match as he was broken once again and give Federer his first win of the year against a top 5 player.
Federer leads the head-to-head series in the rivalry 16-13 but Novak has won three out of their last five meetings including their last one in the finals of the year-end championships. While Federer has improved tremendously over the past several weeks, it is still unlikely that he will have an answer for Djokovic, who has been near unstoppable over the past few weeks. It will likely be another classic encounter between the two, yet Federer will have to produce something special to book a place in the Sunday’s final.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic defeats Roger Federer