After passing some 60 rivals on the ATP ranking list in 2006, Novak Djokovic was ready for more of the same in the following season, preparing for all the challenges and seeking big trophies against the opponents from the very top.
The Belgrade native won the title in Adelaide at the beginning of 2007, lifting the third ATP trophy of his young career and heading to Melbourne with a desire to show his best tennis after early exits at the first Major of the season in 2005 and 2006.
Novak was one of the players to beat after the opening three rounds, ousting Nicolas Massu (lost only two games), Feliciano Lopez and Danai Udomchoke after losing one set in total to arrange his third meeting with world no.
1 Roger Federer who beat him twice in 2006. The Swiss proved to be too good once again, beating the Serb 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes to reach quarters and remain on the title course. Roger lost only 20 points in 15 service games, placing his initial shot as he wanted and facing only two break chances in the entire encounter.
Novak broke him once to remain competitive in set number two but that was all we saw from a teenager who dropped 45% of the points in his games and suffered five breaks from eight chances offered to Roger. Blasting some 50 winners and 25 unforced errors, Federer was almost always in front, having the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges to leave Novak behind and deliver the first loss of the season for the Serb.
"I'm feeling sorry for losing the match; that's always how you feel, even against world no. 1. I have to be satisfied with everything I did in Australia, Adelaide, and Melbourne, but I couldn't do much today.
My first serve percentage was low and that's always very important, especially if you play against the rival who uses every opportunity you offer to him. I didn't have confidence behind the initial shot and had to chase the result in all three sets.
I managed to come back in the second but didn't play well in that 12th game, making some costly unforced errors. He used them and won the set. If I managed to get into a tie break, maybe I could have won the set and change the course of the clash, but that didn't happen."