Novak Djokovic held on with a winning serve early in the last set and broke Roger Federer in the second game to build the lead. Federer missed a routine forehand at the second point of the third game and broke his racket to lose concentration and patience.
Struggling to recover, Roger made a forehand error in Game 4 to find himself 4-0 down and suffered the fourth consecutive break to distance himself from a positive result. Federer closed the gap with a break in the fifth game, and Djokovic was at zero two games later to stay ahead.
The Swiss added four winners at 2-5 to extend the match before the Serbian brought the ninth game home to celebrate the third win over Roger. "Roger was frustrated, but I think he can give a better answer. I tried to stay focused and bring the game home when I was in charge.
I was quite nervous in the first set and made a lot of mistakes despite hitting a lot of first serves. After that I changed my focus and played more patiently. The key game came at 3-2 in set number two. After that, I was the best player and I took a risk.
My return worked well and I forced him to take an extra shot, which was critical. We have played on this surface many times and there are no secrets between us. Roger didn't do much in the first set pushing my backhand and waiting for mistakes.
After that, I became more offensive and controlled the rallies with changes of pace in difficult conditions.
Clarey speaks about Djokovic
Speaking to Tennis365 as he promoted The Master, his outstanding book looking at Roger Federer’s career, Christopher Clarey told us that Novak Djokovic deserves credit for overcoming huge hurdles to join his rivals by winning 20 Grand Slam titles.
“In my view, it has been both a burden and a blessing for Novak to have Roger and Rafa around. If he was the dominant player in tennis, he wouldn’t have become the player he is now. To have a chance to go after the great champions who were so popular and to beat them on their best surfaces was a great opportunity for him and he has seized that.
People who follow Novak perceive him as being hard done by and misunderstood, misinterpreted and under-appreciated,” he continues. "It makes you fact-check all your tweets and articles when you do an article on Djokovic and you know you are going to get a strong reaction from his fans.
As for Novak, he has spoken about his frustration earlier on in his career about the crowds not being with him, but I think those battle lines are now set. I guess that is good as it shows how strong a following these three great champions have created.
It is one of the reasons why tennis has been so successful in this era and why it has made for compelling viewing. They have all had their own people pulling for them and the rivalries have created some division among the public as well.