Flashback US Open: Roger Federer tops Novak Djokovic to extend US Open reign



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Flashback US Open: Roger Federer tops Novak Djokovic to extend US Open reign

In 2005 and 2006, Roger Federer dominated the men's game like almost no one before him, losing just nine matches and standing as the main contender for nearly every big tournament he would enter. In 2007, his rivals managed to topple Roger nine times, although he was still at the top of his game at Majors, winning Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open and losing in the Roland Garros final to Rafael Nadal for the second year in a row.

The Swiss was the player to beat during the summer, losing in Paris to Rafa and Novak in Montreal but conquering Wimbledon and his 50th ATP crown in Cincinnati, heading to New York as the top favorite after being victorious there in the past three seasons.

It was a rock-solid start from Roger against Scoville Jankins and Paul Capdeville, winning the opening two matches in less than three hours and one lost service game. World no. 184 and college star John Isner won the opening set in the third round before Roger took the upper hand in the rest of the encounter, scoring five breaks from nine chances to reach the last 16, where he also came from a set down against Feliciano Lopez.

The Spaniard was 40-0 up on the return at the beginning of the third set after getting broken in the tenth game of the second, and Federer took charge from there, rattling off 34 straight points on serve to gain the momentum and finish the job with a single break in the fourth set.

In the repeat of 2006 final, Federer defeated Andy Roddick 7-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours to enter the last four, saving the only break point he faced and stealing the American's serve twice in the third set for straight-sets triumph.

Roddick stayed in touch in the opening two sets but his second serve let him down, unable to win the most critical points and prolong the battle. The first set saw no break chances, and Roger grabbed the breaker with a backhand winner that gave him a mini-break, firing an ace at 6-5 to wrap up the set.

The first opportunity for a break came in the eighth game of the second set, and Roger saved it with a service winner to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, clinching the tie break with a backhand return winner and another service winner in the last point.

From 2-2 in the third set, Federer took four games in a row to wrap up the victory and set another semi-final clash against Nikolay Davydenko, like a year ago. The encounter lasted two hours and 18 minutes, and Roger delivered a 7-5, 6-1, 7-5 success for the place in the fourth straight US Open final.

The Russian was able to overpower the Swiss from the baseline, especially from his backhand side, earning no less than 14 break opportunities and stealing rival's serve five times. On the other hand, he had to play against 25 break chances, allowing Roger to convert nine and emerge as a winner in straight sets.

Nikolay led 3-1 with another break chance in game five that could have sent him even further in front. Roger saved it and broke again at 6-5 after a Russian's backhand mistake to grab the opener 7-5. Federer dominated in the second set, and the game was on again in the third, with Davydenko having a break on three occasions, unable to materialize any of those advantages.

The Russian wasted two set points on the return at 5-4, and Roger broke him in the next game and sealed the deal on his serve at 6-5 to set the final meeting with the 20-year-old Novak Djokovic. On September 9, Roger Federer clinched his 12th Major title from 14 finals, passing Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver on the eternal list and trailing just two behind Pete Sampras at 26!

World no. 1 took down the young Serb 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes after saving five set points in the first and two more in the second set, as Djokovic made him run for his money!

At the US Open 2007, Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic for 12th Major crown.

It was the tenth consecutive Major final for Roger (losing just two against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros), conquering 12 of the previous 18 Majors starting from Wimbledon 2003 to extend his domination on the biggest tennis scene!

Federer also became the first player in history who played in the final of all four Majors in back-to-back seasons, also the first who grabbed Wimbledon and the US Open crowns in four consecutive seasons. Besides that, the Swiss star became the first player with four consecutive US Open titles since Bill Tilden in the 20s.

The championship match didn't produce the highest quality tennis, as they were both nervous, although the scoreboard was interesting from start to finish. Federer had better percentages behind his serve, fending off seven out of nine break chances to stay in contention and breaking Novak three times from five opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets.

Roger made the biggest difference in the shortest points up to four strokes, and they were neck and neck in the mid-range exchanges and the longest ones, with Djokovic following the pace of his opponent from the baseline with rock-solid groundstrokes from both wings.

Federer had 35 service winners while Novak hit 33, and it was the first groundstroke after the initial shot that worked better from the Federer's racquet, which also made the difference. It was an excellent start from both players as they reached 5-5 after just 33 minutes.

The first-time Major finalist was ready to compete against the world's leading player from the past four seasons, controlling his serve and groundstrokes to stay on the scoreboard's positive side. The Serb created his first break chance in the 11th game, and Roger saved it with a service winner, only to face another one after sending an easy forehand long.

Djokovic delivered a break this time around after another poor forehand from Federer, serving for the opener in game 12, which would have meant a lot to him. Three winners gave Novak three set points but couldn't deliver that crucial point and seal it.

Roger fended off the first with an amazing forehand winner and the other two when Novak missed two backhands, going back to deuce. A service winner earned the fourth set point for the Serb, who missed another groundstroke to waste the opportunity of grabbing the set.

Roger forced an error from his rival on the fifth set point and broke back after a costly double fault from Novak. In the tie break, Djokovic was 3-2 up before netting an easy backhand to lose the lead and send Roger in front with another double fault.

The set was decided by yet another double fault from the 20-year-old, who lost the breaker 7-4 despite having so many opportunities to bring it to his side. Novak managed to leave the opener behind him and pushed strong at the beginning of the second, creating two break points at 2-1.

He converted the second one when Roger's backhand volley landed long, and a few minutes later, it was 4-1, as he hit four winners in game five to confirm the break. Roger held from deuce in game six and broke back at love in the next one to reduce the deficit to 4-3, moving back to the positive side of the scoreboard and gaining the momentum ahead of the rest of the set.

Both players served great in the next four games and Roger had to serve to stay in the set in game 12. Like in the opener, he went 15-40 down, facing two set points but keeping his coolness, saving the first with an ace and the second was when Novak's forehand landed well behind the baseline.

Federer closed the game with two winners, boosting his game before the tie break that he won 7-2 with a magical backhand down the line winner to open up a massive advantage. Despite missing colossal chances to take both of the opening two sets, Novak was still in the match, earning three break chances in the third set's fifth game.

He let them all slip away from his hands and couldn't get a new one until the end of the clash. Roger found a good rhythm in his games after that and moved 5-4 ahead, forcing Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. Novak had a game point but couldn't bring it home, double-faulting to give Federer a match point and saving it with a brave forehand winner.

Nonetheless, the Swiss got another one after a loose backhand from Novak, seizing this one when Djokovic's drop shot failed to reach the net, falling to the ground in a big celebration of his 12th Major crown.