The concern, “Roger Federer’s last chance at winning a Major”, has lost its significance in the last two years, but that hasn’t changed much the reality that Federer hasn’t added a Slam to his collection after his Wimbledon win in 2012; two slips between the cup and the lip ever since, both the times, it was Novak Djokovic who crushed Federer’s hopes.
A couple of hours will determine what awaits next for Federer -- an 18th title and a 6th US Open crown or another slip? Gearing up for their 42nd duel, the Federer-Djokovic rivalry has superseded the Nadal-Federer rivalry, and can now be regarded the greatest rivalry ever in the history of tennis.
Although enchanting, the ‘Fedal’ has been a lopsided affair, on the contrary, between the Serbinator and the Swiss maestro, the battle is more or less even, with the latter now leading 21-20. Head-to-head stats of the last 10 matches The H2H stats of the last 10 matches, Djokovic leads 6-4.
The latest win, however was by Federer -- at Cincinnati Masters (7-6 6-3), not to mention on the hard court. Interestingly, Federer’s all four wins have come from ‘best of three’ tournaments -- Cincinnati, Dubai, Shanghai and Monte - Carlo Masters.
Their two encounters in a Grand Slam was at Wimbledon -- 2014 and 2015 finals -- where the Serb outwitted the Swiss in an impressive fashion. The stats bear testimony that it’s advantage Djokovic when it comes to ‘best of five’ events.
No doubt that Federer’s ‘road to finals’ is much more impressive than that of his opponent; he hasn’t forfeited a set yet. Apart from Isner, no one could challenge the five-time champion’s mastery.
Djokovic on the other hand, had to shed some sweat against Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez in R4 and quarter-final respectively. From the aforementioned observation, we can deduct that Federer has been able to execute his game plan flawlessly throughout the tournament, but that doesn’t mean the strategy is foolproof.
Unlike all those players Federer had to face, Djokovic definitely has a better tactical plan against his chief rival.