If I ask you about a Novak Djokovic match, facing a 40-15 Roger Federer on serve and that ended up changing his career, it is likely that the vast majority will answer me that of Wimbledon 2019. But no. There is, curiously, another game that has been 10 years old whose history was very similar to that of the final in London a couple of years ago.
We talk about what happened at the US Open 2011, a moment that has just turned a decade and that ended up changing, possibly, the course of Nole's history. Novak and Roger met in the semifinals that year, in New York. At that time, the Swiss was heading to be the best in history, and Djokovic was one of the great attractions of the circuit, but we did not even imagine that we were going to see a meteoric rise in that decade by the one from Belgrade to the about to become the GOAT.
The H2H between the two was led by Federer by a clear 13-6 (it is 23-27 for Nole to date), and it was the fifth time in a row that they crossed at the US Open. His matches were always even and full of emotion. Nole was cutting ground with Roger, and after losing clearly in three sets, he ended up turning the tables and reached that 2011 edition with three Grand Slam titles (two of them, in that same season), but the meeting did not start in the best way.
Federer scored the first two sets and put fear in the Serbian's body. Novak, who already at that time began to display that iron mentality that was polishing even more over the years, did not lose faith and ended up forcing a fifth sleeve.
There, Roger went with a break in favor and was placed with 5-3 and serve. He had it in his hand. After a couple of points, we come to the moment that triggers this article. 40-15. Federer would have two points to advance to the final.
Bencic opens up on Roger Federer
The recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games produced some sensational tennis. In the women’s singles, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic defied all odds to claim the coveted gold medal.
At the start of the tournament, not many would’ve predicted what unfolded. However, Bencic displayed some swashbuckling shot making to go all the way. Along the way, she received a lot of support from some of the best, including countryman Roger Federer.
“He [Federer] was very genuinely happy and it made me also very happy. Every match he was cheering for me and sending me nice messages. Just generally, even when you’re not asking him for tips, just talking normally, you can learn so many things [talking about] how you feel in this situation, how was it for you.
It’s so much for me already and so many people don’t have that so I would call myself very lucky to have this kind of support”.