Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic scores first win over Roger Federer

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Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic scores first win over Roger Federer

In 2007, Roger Federer competed in his third Canada Open final and the first in Montreal. Federer faced world no. 4 Novak Djokovic on the other side of the net, with the young Serb seeking the second Masters 1000 title. It was their fifth meeting, and Djokovic delivered his first victory over the world's leading player.

Novak prevailed 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 in two hours and 13 minutes for the fifth ATP title and the second of the Masters 1000 series after Miami. Novak's 2007 season was the breakthrough one, winning two big titles and almost 70 matches, including a deep run at three consecutive Majors that established him as the third-best player on the Tour behind Federer and Nadal.

Djokovic's winning path in Montreal was impressive, beating the world's leading three players en route to the title as the first player since Boris Becker in Stockholm 1994! Novak toppled Andy Roddick in the quarters before saving all eight break points against Rafael Nadal in the semis to set the dream final versus Roger.

Djokovic overpowered Federer and displayed great clutch in both tie breaks to earn the trophy. The Swiss was more efficient after landing the first serve in, firing 15 aces and taking 77% of the points. Novak stood stronger in the second serve department to stay in touch and extend the battle.

Federer created nine break chances and stole Djokovic's serve five times. He finished on the losing side despite getting broken only three times, as he could not bring his best tennis when it mattered the most. Thanks to that second set, Roger won two more points than Novak but obviously not those crucial ones.

He wasted no less than six set points in the opener that cost him the title! Federer was the more aggressive player, hitting 49 winners and 48 unforced errors. At the same time, Djokovic also produced good numbers, finishing the encounter with 24 winners and 23 errors.

Novak Djokovic prevailed over Roger Federer in Montreal 2007.

Federer had a slight edge in the shortest range up to four strokes, while Djokovic won more points in the extended rallies to stay neck and neck with world no.

1 in sets he won. The youngster moved in front already in the second game. He earned a break after a few errors from the Swiss, who knew he had to take risky shots to pass the rock-solid rival from the baseline. Novak found a great rhythm on serve right from the beginning, racing into a 3-0 lead and hoping to maintain that level in the rest of the set.

Roger finally hit the zone with his forehand after that, which instantly changed the positions on the court. He broke back at 15 in game five to reduce the deficit and get back to the positive side of the scoreboard. Both players served well until game 11, when Roger broke for a 6-5 lead following Novak's loose backhand.

In no time, Federer was on the verge of taking the set after opening a 40-0 advantage on serve in the next game. Still, he made three unforced errors and brought Novak back to deuce. Roger squandered three more set points and failed to make the last step.

Djokovic played some impressive tennis to hang in and eventually broke back with a forehand down the line winner to introduce a tie break, with momentum on his side. He was the leading player on the court now, and the opener was in his hands after hitting a service winner at 6-2 to steal the set despite playing against so many set points.

Roger had to leave this part of the match behind him as soon as possible. He did that in style after storming over Novak in set number two to take it 6-2 in just over 30 minutes. The Swiss was the dominant figure, firing winners from every part of the court and leaving Djokovic with nothing to stop him.

Novak somehow held in game four, but his serve was broken at 2-3 when he netted a forehand. Roger earned another break at 5-2 and clinched the set with a backhand down the line winner to become the favorite. Nonetheless, precisely the opposite happened at the beginning of the decider, as Novak broke at 15 to grab an early lead and end Roger's streak of four straight games.

Djokovic sailed through his service games in the next 20 minutes and was two service games away from the triumph. Federer stole the break in game eight to level the score at 4-4 and set the scene for a dramatic finish. The last four games of the clash saw four commanding holds, and the winner had to be decided in the third set tie break at the Canada Open for the first time since 1990.

The younger player showed more clutch and stamina and secured two mini-breaks to jump into a 4-1 lead. Novak converted the second match point when Roger's tweener found the bottom of the net and started a massive celebration of a well-deserved crown.