View Full Version : Djokovic vs Federer - the history (spoilers)

07-06-2012, 12:02 PM
Just before the Wimbledon semi final between Djokovic and Federer started, I was struck by a fact that surprised me. Federer and Djokovic have contested the most grand slam meetings of any 2 players. It is easy to forget how many times they have played, when the focus is always on Fedal and now Djokodal.

Djokovic and Federer have now met 11 times in slams, one more time than Fedal, and 2 more than Djokodal. Interesting enough, 5 of the 11 meetings between Novak and Roger have come since Djokovic went 2.0 in 2011. Federer has won 2 of these and lost 3, one of the losses being a match he had 2 serves to win. Really it couldn't be much closer in slams even since Djokovic entered his best period of his career and Federer lingers a little way past his best, not willing to fall away completely. The fact they have met so much recently shows how good Federer is at still making the latter stages of slams, though generally he might struggle to hang with topdogs Nadal and Djokovic compared to his glory days. Before 2011 Djokovic was often losing in quarterfinals or earlier and not meeting Federer (AO 2009, 2010, RG 2009, W2009 being some examples)

In Federer's best years, they only met twice (AO2007 US Open 2007) with Federer winning both, though the US Open final was very close the first 2 sets and Federer could have easily been 2 sets to love down. Now plently of people will not like me discounting 2008 onwards, but this is about the very best period of a player's career. Djokovic was a very good solid top 3 player from 2007 onwards, but I only count his best days from 2011 onwards, so I have to do the same with Federer and rule 2008 -2010 for both players as a period of good play, but not their best. In that time it's 3-2 to Federer, again one win being a matchpoint saving effort from Djokovic.

However Djokovic has beaten Federer in straight sets 3 times, more than Nadal, and more than any other player maybe? One win coming in 2008, the other 2 more recently.

Moving on to the US Open this year, it will be very interesting should they meet again. Novak for me is still favourite at this point (though a Murray Wimbledon win and lead up on hardcourt could change that) but he has never in 5 meetings convincingly beaten Federer. He was 2 poinst away from being 0 for 5 agaisnt him. Federer on the courts of Flushing Meadows, is a huge danger to Djokovic, and it's clear after this Wimbledon semi that despite losing 4 of his last 5 slam matches against Djokovic, including a straight sets defeat, he doesn't have a mental block against him and fully believes he can win.

I hope for a Federer Djokovic final at the US Open, although they have met more times in slams than any other players, they have only contested one slam final, way back in 2007. Another final could be a cracker as Federer has the game for the surface but Djokovic might just have the unshakable belief again by that point.

07-06-2012, 12:05 PM
I would love to see Murray - Djoker and Fed - Rafa for the US Open Semis.

I feel like the US Open is Fed's best (only?) chance to beat Rafa in a Major, and I think a semi would be far easier than a final, given the lack of time off on the final weekend.

To your larger point, I think this is the perfect example of how matchups color tennis. Djoker can beat Rafa because his backhand is rock solid and Djokovic eats up Rafa's serve. Fed can beat Djokovic because his serve and offensive tennis is more effective against Novak's style. Rafa beats Fed because his serve and forehand are heat seeking missals to Fed's greatest weakness. It just goes to show that saying A > B > C doesn't mean A > C, etc.

07-06-2012, 12:24 PM
yeah matchups make tennis interesting, people deny they exist but it's just common sense. Federer matches up with Djokovic pretty well, that's no slur on Federer, so why do many nadal fans get so touchy when you say the same for them? Doesn't take away from Nadal's greatness at all, he has the game to beat Federer, but it's still a great game. It just happens it hurts Federer in particular.