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Novak & Roger: The Rivalry Page 3

2008 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Semi-final, Monte-Carlo, clay, Federer d. Djokovic 63 32 ret. (illness)
Roger Federer reached the Monte-Carlo final when Novak Djokovic pulled out complaining of dizziness midway through the second set after 72 minutes of play. Djokovic said, "I didn't feel good for the last three days. I've been waking up with a sore throat. But I thought it's not going to be nothing special. But obviously when you're playing against the World No. 1, you obviously get a lot of balls back and longer points, and I just couldn't get enough energy back after each point. I needed a lot of time. And I just decided not to risk anything. I feel dizziness a little bit in the last three days." Read Match Report

Djokovic, Federer2008 Australian Open Semi-final, Melbourne, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 75 63 76(5)
Novak Djokovic reeled off 13 aces and hit 50 winners to beat Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The 20-year-old Serbian held serve when a break would have changed momentum and handed Federer his first straight sets loss at the Australian Open since the 2000 and 2001 first rounds to Arnaud Clement. Federer had the chance to serve for the first set at 5-3. Djokovic broke twice to win that set and twice more to get to 5-1 in the second in an 11-game sequence that changed the match. Federer, who had been bidding to reach his 11th straight major final, later admitted, "Of course, I've created a monster. So I know I need to always win every tournament." Djokovic drew on his experience in his 2007 US Open final, knowing the pressure was mounting on his rival after such an imperious run. "I am just very amazed I coped with the pressure today," said Djokovic. "In the most important moments, I played my best tennis. It's just amazing, indescribable, to beat the World No. 1, one of the best players this sport has ever had, in straight sets." Djokovic went onto play World No. 43 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

Federer2007 US Open Final, New York, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 76(4) 76(2) 64
Roger Federer became the first man since Bill Tilden in the 1920s to win the US Championships four years in a row and at 26 years of age the Swiss was now two major titles shy of equalling Pete Sampras' career record of 14 titles. Federer, the World No. 1 for 188 weeks in a row, drew on his greater experience to beat major final debutant Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4. Djokovic, 20, led 6-5 in the opening two sets. In the first, he held five set point opportunities. He was 6-5 and serving at 40/0. In the second, he missed two. "My next book is going to be called, 'Seven Set Points,'" said Djokovic. Federer admitted, "New guys challenging me - this is my biggest motivation out there. Seeing them challenging me, and then beating them in the finals." Federer took home a Grand Slam championship-record $2.4 million in prize money - $1.4 million for winning, plus a $1 million bonus because he finished atop the US Open Series standings. From 1970 to 2005, no man had reached all four Grand Slam championship finals in a calendar year. Federer had achieved that feat two years in a row.

Djokovic2007 Rogers Cup Final, Montreal, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 76(2) 26 76(2)
Novak Djokovic made history by becoming the first player to beat the world's Top 3 players in the same tournament since Boris Becker defeated No. 3 Michael Stich, No. 1 Pete Sampras and No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic in succession at 1994 Stockholm. Third seed Djokovic earned $400,000 in prize money after producing a brilliant display of shot-making to beat World No. 1 and two-time former titlist Roger Federer 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(2) in the Rogers Cup final at Montreal. The 20-year-old Serb saved six set points in the first set, but defending champion Federer fought back to level the score-line by winning the second set. Djokovic, who had never beaten Federer in their four previous meetings, took the fight to the top seed in the decider and finally wrapped up the match in two hours and 12 minutes. "This first set was really crucial I can say," said Djokovic. "The first set was really important, I saved a couple of set points and I had 40-0 and 5-5 on my serve but I lost it and then after that I really fight for every point and I managed to win that first set which was really important. And to win two tie-breaks against the World No. 1, probably the strongest player mentally on the tour, it's another achievement, it's another success so I'm really, really happy."

Federer2007 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Quarter-final, Dubai, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 63 67(6) 63
Roger Federer, bidding for his fourth Dubai title, after successes in 2003-2005, required just over two hours to beat World No. 14 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 for a place in the semi-finals. Federer's consistency of serve proved the game-changer as he won 74 per cent of his first service points and saved three of five break points.

2007 Australian Open Fourth Round, Melbourne, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 62 75 63
Roger Federer hit 12 aces and dropped just 20 points on serve in a totally dominant performance over Novak Djokovic, recording a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win in just one hour and 50 minutes that had the Rod Laver Arena on its feet. Federer would go onto become the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a Grand Slam championship without losing a set.

2006 Davis Cup World Group Play-off, Switzerland vs. Serbia & Montenegro, Geneva, Federer d. Djokovic 63 62 63
Switzerland led 2-1 going into the first reverse singles rubber, after Federer had beaten Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets and Djokovic had edged Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Djokovic, who had risen 60 places to World No. 21 in the past 12 months, was overawed by Federer losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to give Switzerland an unassailable lead.

Federer2006 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters First Round, Monte-Carlo, clay, Federer d. Djokovic 63 26 63
Federer started his Monte-Carlo campaign chasing his third Masters 1000 title of the season. He looked sluggish against 18-year-old qualifier Djokovic, making uncharacteristic, unforced errors. The Swiss looked in control in the first set but struggled in the second, dropping serve twice before losing the set by firing a straightforward forehand wide. Djokovic, though, ran out of steam in the decider, despite saving three match points before hitting a forehand long on the fourth to give Federer a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win in one hour and 49 minutes. "I'm satisfied to have won and relieved it's over," said Federer. "It was not easy. I didn't play great but you need time to adapt to the surface."

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