Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled for the 17th time in the 2010 Shanghai Masters semi-final. The Swiss beat the Serb for the 11th time following a 7-5, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 42 minutes, advancing into the title clash on his Shanghai debut.
Novak claimed the Beijing title a week ago and could not repeat that in Shanghai, scoring one break from five opportunities and getting broken three times to propel Roger through. The Serb ruined his chances in the unforced errors segment, losing ground in the opening set's closing stages and at the beginning of the second, finding himself a set and a double break down.
Novak Djokovic lost to Roger Federer in the 2010 Shanghai semi-final.
Djokovic wasted four break chances in the first set's fourth game and came two points away from taking it after reaching deuce at 5-4. Federer held and gathered momentum that carried him towards a break in game 11 and the set after three winners at 6-5.
With a boost on his side, Roger broke at the beginning of the second set and painted a service winner in game two to forge a massive advantage. The Swiss grabbed another break in game five with a smash winner before getting broken a few minutes later to keep the Serb within one break deficit.
Serving for the triumph at 5-4, Federer made no mistakes, blasting three winners and forcing Djokovic's error to seal the deal and advance into the final. "I do not know what went wrong. We played an intense first set, and I did not use my chances.
Roger converted a late break point and took the set 7-5. I lost my focus a bit at the beginning of the second set, and my energy dropped. Roger opened a 4-1 gap in the blink of an eye, and it was tough to get back from there.
I'm disappointed a bit because I think I played pretty well in the opener. I felt like I was starting to play better when I broke him back in the second set, but it was too late. Roger delivered some great shots when he needed them the most and deserved to win.
Roger and I have exchanged the second spot in the ranking a couple of times this year; it's not a big deal to lose it. I'm happy with my current level, and I will have chances to get back inside the top-2 if I keep it in the upcoming weeks," Novak Djokovic said.