Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Rafael Nadal and sets Roger Federer clash



by   |  VIEW 14281

Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Rafael Nadal and sets Roger Federer clash

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met six times in the opening eight months of the 2007 season. Nadal defeated Djokovic in the Indian Wells final before Novak avenged that loss in the Miami quarter-final. Rafa bested Novak in Rome before the Serb bounced back in Montreal.

Nadal claimed the Canada Open title in Montreal in 2005 and could not go all the way two years later. Djokovic scored a 7-5, 6-3 victory in an hour and 51 minutes in the semi-final to arrange the title clash against Roger Federer.

Novak played on a high level to leave world no. 2 behind and advance into the third Masters 1000 final of the season. Novak became the third U20 player with three Masters 1000 finals in a single season after Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic bested Rafael Nadal at the Canada Masters in 2007.

It was their seventh meeting and the second victory for Djokovic. He saved all eight break chances and earned a single break in each set to remain on the title course.

Djokovic landed 25 winners and forced Nadal's 30 mistakes. The Serb stood as a more aggressive player on the court and looked eager to topple Nadal after tough losses at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Novak built a massive advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.

He overpowered Rafa in the most extended exchanges to seal the deal in style and set his eyes on the trophy. Nadal saved a break point in the opener's fourth game with a forehand winner and brought it home with a service winner for 2-2.

Serving well, Novak opened a 4-3 gap before Rafa fired a backhand crosscourt bullet in the next one to remain on the positive side. In the crucial part of the set, Djokovic defended three break chances at 5-5 and forced Nadal's mistake in the next one to steal the opener 7-5 and gain a considerable boost.

The Serb erased a break chance at the beginning of the second set and four more at 1-1, never facing troubles behind the initial shot after that. Serving at 3-4, Nadal netted the slice and experienced a break that pushed Djokovic in front.

Staying composed, Novak held at love in game nine to wrap up the encounter and advance into his third consecutive hard-court Masters 1000 final.