Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer met at the US Open for the first time in 2007, battling for the title and facing each other regularly on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the years to come. In 2010, Roger and Novak fought for the fourth straight year at the season's last Major, with the Serb prevailing 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 after three hours and 44 minutes to set the title clash against Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic defended two match points in the decider's tenth game, firing two brave forehand winners and rattling off three straight games to cross the finish line and advance into the third Major final. Novak lost serve three times and produced six breaks, mainly in sets two and four when he had the upper hand over a five-time champion.
Federer came back from 4-2 down in the opener to grab two breaks and steal it 7-5. Djokovic dominated the second set, and the five-time winner responded with a late break in the third to build another advantage and boost his chances.
The Serb stayed calm in set number four, and the real test came at 4-5 in the decider. Roger earned two match points after Novak's backhand mistake, and he did not have a chance to seize any, as Djokovic fired two brave forehand winners to take the danger away.
Novak broke Roger at 30 in the 11th game following Roger's forehand mistake and fended off a break chance in the next one before sealing the deal and moving into the third Major final.
Novak Djokovic described how he defended two match points against Roger Federer.
"This is one of those matches that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Not only that I beat one of the greatest players of all time, but I also saved two match points and played good tennis to emerge at the top. I'm very proud of myself. There are a lot of emotions involved, but I was too exhausted to show them in the end.
I'm through to the Major final, and I have to preserve some energy for the last match. I'm tired, and I can not hide that. I had been quite o.k for the opening four sets. The fifth was very intensive, both mentally and physically, and it took a lot out of me.
It was a remarkable victory, and I'm sure I will find the strength to give my best tomorrow. I got a bit nervous at the end of the first and third sets, and that's why I lost them. But anything except that, I think I played a great game, defending well and trying to stay aggressive.
I knew I had to be patient and not lose my emotions too much because it was the point where I was losing momentum against Roger in the past. Today, I closed my eyes on the forehands on the match points and went for the shots.
I was lucky, and I knew before the match that a couple of points would determine the winner. I gave my best to save those two match points, doing my best to bring the game home from there and avoid offering him more chances. I felt a massive relief, and that helped me in the upcoming games," Novak Djokovic said.