Miami Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops frustrated Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic came from a set down to beat Roger Federer in the 2009 Miami semi-final

by Jovica Ilic
Miami Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops frustrated Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic met for the first time in almost seven months in the 2009 Miami Open semi-final. It's their only duel in Florida, and Novak scored a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory in an hour and 46 minutes. Thus, Djokovic advanced to his seventh Masters 1000 final and kept his place in the top-3 ahead of Andy Murray.

The Serb beat the Swiss for the third time in ten duels. Also, it's the first duel in their rivalry when the winning player loses the opening set and emerges at the top. The match is also remembered for Roger's tantrums. Federer smashed the racquet, got a code violation, received rare boos from the crowd and refused to shake Fergus Murphy's hand!

Novak won 19 points more than Roger and turned half of the return points into six breaks from ten chances. The Swiss grabbed four breaks, insufficient to carry him home after spraying 40 unforced errors. Federer kicked off the action with a forehand crosscourt winner and moved 2-1 up with a stop-volley winner at the net in game three.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer from a set down in Miami 2009.

Djokovic sprayed a backhand error in the fourth game to experience a break and fall 3-1 behind. Roger clinched the fifth game with two winners at deuce in game five to cement the lead and settle into a fine rhythm.

Novak lost the ground and netted a routine backhand in game six to fall 5-1 behind and allow Roger to serve for the opener. The Serb pulled one break back in game seven after the Swiss' loose forehand and held at 15 in the next one to reduce the deficit.

Roger served for the set for the second time at 5-3 and wrapped it up when Novak landed a forehand long. Djokovic fired a service winner at the start of the second set and broke Federer at 15 in game two with a deep return.

The Serb denied a break point in game three and brought it home with a forehand winner for a 3-0 advantage. Roger pulled the break back in game five after Novak's double fault and earned a game point in the next one that could have brought him back to 3-3.

Instead, Djokovic saved it and pushed strong to earn five break points. The Serb seized the last one after the rival's loose forehand to open a 4-2 gap. Novak held at 15 in game seven and broke his opponent again a few minutes later to clinch the set 6-2 and gather a boost ahead of the decider.

The Serb held at the start of the final set with a service winner and extended his run on the return. Novak stole Roger's serve for the third time in a row and caused the rival's frustration. Federer netted a routine forehand in the third game's second point and smashed his racquet to lose focus and temper.

Struggling to pass the rival, Roger sprayed a forehand mistake in the fourth game to find himself 4-0 down and suffer the fourth consecutive break. Federer reduced the gap with a break in game five following a volley winner at the net before Djokovic held at love two games later to keep the lead.

The Swiss fired four winners at 2-5 to extend the encounter, with the Serb serving for the victory in the next one. Novak stayed focused and clinched the ninth game at 15 to celebrate the triumph and set the title clash against Andy Murray.

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer