Instead of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer played against the other Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the 2012 Madrid semi-final, scoring a 6-2, 6-3 victory in 67 minutes for the third title match in four editions of this event at Caja Magica.
After being a couple of points away from the defeat in an opening match on fast and slippery blue clay against Milos Raonic, Roger started to feel the court. He produced more encouraging triumphs over Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer to find himself in the last four for the fourth straight year.
There, he had the upper hand against Janko all the time to beat him for the fifth time in as many encounters, dropping 12 points behind the initial shot and fending off the only break chance to keep the pressure on the other side of the court.
Janko served at only 44%, and that was a recipe for disaster, offering Federer five break chances and getting broken three times to propel the Swiss into the title match against Tomas Berdych.
Roger Federer toppled Janko Tipsarevic to advance into the title match in Madrid 2012.
The Swiss had 25 winners and 13 unforced errors, having a clear edge in both the shortest and more extended exchanges to seal the deal in no time and remain on the second Madrid Open title course.
A former champion kicked off the action with a hold at love. The Swiss produced another lightning-quick hold in game three and converted a break chance in the next one when Janko netted a forehand to forge a 3-1 lead. Federer confirmed the break with a volley winner a few minutes later, landing another in game seven for a hold at love and a 5-2 advantage.
Outplaying Tipsarevic in those moments, Federer secured another break to wrap up the opener in just over half an hour, hoping for more in set number two. Like in the first, Roger grabbed a break in the second set's fourth game after a return winner and fired an ace for a hold at love to confirm the advantage.
The Swiss saved a break chance in the seventh game to remain in front, denying the Serb's attempts to get back on the positive side of the scoreboard. Tipsarevic held to reduce the deficit to 3-5, and Federer moved over the finish line with a service winner in game nine to book a place in the 32nd Masters 1000 final in a career.