Novak Djokovic recalls: 'Roger Federer was frustrated and smashed a racquet'



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Novak Djokovic recalls: 'Roger Federer was frustrated and smashed a racquet'

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic met in the 2009 Miami semi-final. The Serb overcame a slow start and earned a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 triumph for his seventh Masters 1000 final. It was their first clash since the 2008 US Open, bringing a rare scene.

Roger threw unexpected tantrums and outbursts, smashing his racquet and receiving a code violation. After the match, the Swiss skipped the handshake with the chair umpire Fergus Murphy. Novak broke Roger six times from ten opportunities, raising his level after the opener and finding a way to impose his strokes and take the rhythm away from his opponent.

Federer made a strong start and grabbed four breaks, not enough for a positive outcome after spraying 40 unforced errors, many of those in crucial moments. Djokovic overpowered Federer in the most extended exchanges to secure the win and set the final clash against Andy Murray.

Roger produced two fine holds at the start of the encounter and broke in the fourth game to open a 3-1 lead. The Swiss held with two winners after deuce in game five to cement the advantage and settle into a fine rhythm. Novak netted a backhand in the sixth game for another loose service game before pulling one break back in the next one to gather some momentum.

Federer clinched the opener with a hold in game nine, hoping for more in set number two. However, he lost ground at the start of the second set and lost serve at 15 in game two. Djokovic defended a break point in game three to open a 3-0 gap and gain a boost.

Roger pulled the break back after Novak's double fault in game five and squandered a game point in the next one. The Serb seized the fifth break chance after the rival's loose forehand to regain the advantage and move 4-2 up.

Djokovic held at 15 in game seven and stole the rival's serve again at 15 at 5-2 to seal the set and gather a boost ahead of the decider.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer fought in the 2009 Miami semi-final.

Novak held with a service winner at the beginning of the final set and broke Roger at 15 in game two to build the advantage.

Federer netted a routine forehand in the third game's second point and smashed his racquet to lose focus and temper. Struggling to recover, Roger sprayed a forehand mistake in the fourth game to find himself 4-0 down and far from the finish line after experiencing the fourth consecutive break.

Federer reduced the gap with a break in game five before Djokovic held at love two games later to remain in front. The Swiss fired four winners at 2-5 to extend the encounter, and the Serb brought the ninth game home at 15 to celebrate his third victory over Roger.

"Roger was frustrated, but I think he can give a better answer. I tried to stay focused and bring the encounter home while in charge. I was quite nervous in the opening set and made many errors despite landing a lot of first serves in.

I changed my approach after that and played with more patience. The key game came at 3-2 in set number two. I was a better player after that and used my opportunities. My return worked well, and I forced him to play an extra shot, which was essential.

We have played many times on this surface, and there are no secrets between us. Roger did not do much in the opener, pushing my backhand and waiting for errors. I became more offensive after that and controlled the rallies with changes of pace in tough conditions.

Roger hides his emotions well, and I could not think about what he felt at that moment; I was focused on my game. I knew I had the level to beat him, and I had to be patient and aggressive simultaneously. He started making errors after the opening set, and I tried to trouble him on both wings," Novak Djokovic said.