Shanghai Flashback: Roger Federer downs Novak Djokovic

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Shanghai Flashback: Roger Federer downs Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer played a thrilling US Open semi-final in 2010, with the Serb saving two match points and prevailing 7-5 in the fifth. A month later, Novak and Roger set their 17th clash in the Shanghai semi-final.

Both players scored convincing victories over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Robin Soderling in the quarter-final to arrange the anticipated duel. The more experienced Swiss claimed the 11th victory, beating Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes and advancing to his 29th Masters 1000 final and the fourth that year.

Roger won ten points more than Novak, fending off four out of five break chances and delivering three breaks that sent him over the top. When we combined those groups, they had a similar number of winners and forced errors.

Novak sprayed more unforced errors to ruin his chances despite a solid effort, ending his Shanghai campaign in the last four for the second straight year. The Serb had a slim advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes but lost the ground entirely in the more advanced exchanges to propel the Swiss over the finish line in straight sets.

Djokovic held after deuce in the first game, and Federer added his name to the scoreboard with a forehand winner in game two. The Serb had to work hard at 1-1, surviving three deuces to remain on the positive side before pushing Roger to the limits in the next one.

Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Shanghai 2010.

The Swiss fended off four break chances (two with winners and two after Djokovic's mistakes) to avoid an early setback and level the score at 2-2.

Both players produced comfortable holds in the next five games, with Federer serving to stay in the set at 4-5. Roger held after deuce to extend the battle and earned his first break chances in game 11. Federer converted the second when Djokovic netted a backhand to open a 6-5 gap.

Serving for the set, Roger fired three winners to wrap up the first part of the encounter with an ace after 63 minutes. With momentum on his side, Roger broke at the beginning of the second set thanks to Novak's loose forehand.

The Serb had to overcome a set and a break deficit if he wanted to chase the victory. A service winner sent Federer 2-0 in front, and he produced another quick hold to open a 3-1 gap. The Swiss secured another break with a smash winner in game five and moved closer to the finish line.

Novak grabbed his first break in game six to reduce the deficit and stay one break behind. Federer served for the title in game ten and landed three winners to seal the deal and advance into the final on his Shanghai debut.