Roger Federer recalls: 'Novak Djokovic knows my game, facing him is never easy'



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Roger Federer recalls: 'Novak Djokovic knows my game, facing him is never easy'

A year after their first Basel final, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer met again in the title match in 2010. Losing the trophy to Novak 12 months ago, Roger got it back thanks to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 triumph in an hour and 55 minutes, celebrating the 65th ATP title and beating the Serb for the 12th time in 18 encounters.

Like in Shanghai a couple of weeks ago, Federer emerged at the top thanks to a rock-solid performance in the deciding set, breaking Djokovic twice to race over the finish line. The home favorite fended off four out of five break chances and produced three breaks for emerging at the top and passing Pete Sampras, who stayed on 64 ATP titles.

There was nothing to separate them in the shortest, mid-range and most extended exchanges, with Federer taking a couple of more points in every segment to seal the deal. Djokovic defended two break points in the encounter's opening game and landed a backhand down the line winner in game two for a break chance.

Roger saved two break points in that game with service winners and grabbed a break in the next one to forge the advantage. In the eighth game, the Swiss fired three service winners to remain in front and erased a break point while serving for the set at 5-4 to close the opener after an unreturned serve.

Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2010 Basel final.

Djokovic raised his level and kicked off the second set with two comfortable holds and a break in game two that pushed him 3-0 ahead. Federer failed to seize a break chance at 3-5, and Djokovic closed the set with another powerful serve that introduced a decider.

Roger opened the final set with a hold at love and repeated that in game three before breaking Novak for a 3-1 lead after the Serb's costly double fault in the fourth game. A service winner pushed Roger 4-1 in front, and he put one hand on the trophy thanks to another break in game six.

The home favorite sealed the deal with three winners at 5-1, closing the match with a backhand down the line winner and celebrating the fourth Basel crown. "It's exceptional to win again at home. I had a super week and a tough final to play.

It's always tough to play Novak. We have met so many times, and he knows my game and how to beat me. He had a great week here," Roger Federer said.