Deja vu. Federer squanders match points in loss to Djokovic

Hours have passed since the end of the match. Everyone has voiced out their opinions. Fans have let out their emotion, heartbroken thoughts, and overall disappointment. The media have hyped and filled as much drama possible into their headlines. So now that all that has somewhat toned down, read this.

The match felt like the 2010 US Open semifinal loss except this time two match points were on Roger’s serve. What an up and down match. Roger Federer made all his fans sweat out anxiously and nervously for nearly 4 hours Saturday. After never having lost a match in a grand slam being up 2 sets to love, Federer has done it twice in the last two slams. For the first time since 2002, Federer did not win a slam.

And after seeing the match, knowing all those facts, and saying them one after another, I say this. I am still a Federer fan, a hard core one like many of you reading this, and I am in no doubt that Roger Federer, the greatest of all time, will continue to work hard and stay insanely positive. One new reason I run this site is to someday personally meet Roger Federer. I would love to hang out with Roger for a few hours and learn from him; and show him, the #1 Federer site.

Roger Federer is the greatest player of all time. He has also had some of the “greatest” losses. It is puzzling. Baffling beyond the point of puzzling. A mystery beyond puzzling and baffling. How did Roger fail to convert 2 match points again? The first was denied by Novak Djokovic slapping a prayer of a forehand which went in. The second, out by an unlucky net cord.

Highly anticipated since the draw came out, it was a rematch of their incredible semifinal at Roland Garros where Federer defeated Djokovic. This match began the same. The first set was very tight and there was a game plan that was boldly shown from the beginning. No long rallies with Novak. No rhythm, no habit, nothing to feed from. That earned Roger the first set in a tiebreak, followed by the mental letdown from Nole to win the second set. However Novak isn’t the same player he was in previous years. He came back to win the third set, and then the state of shock set in with Federer fans. For the first time widely noted, Roger was looking weary. He was tired. It was as if he hit a wall and it showed. Movement became slower. Foot speed and rotation disappeared.

Djokovic capitalized and forced a 5th set. Just before though, Roger showed late signs of life to hold in the 4th set, forcing Djokovic to serve out the set, which he did. This is where the most shocking part of the match happened, naturally of course. At 30 years of age, after over 3 hours of play, having lost momentum and facing defeat at the hands of a much younger opponent, a resurgent Federer began executing the most intelligent efficiency I have ever seen in my life.

Roger displayed his energy management skills in the 5th set, up to a second wall. He kept points short. He robbed Djokovic of rhythm. The crowd was erupting in support for Federer at every forehand he swung for a winner, seemingly out of nowhere. It was 3-all. At the most pivotal seventh game of the set, the Swiss maestro held serve emphatically. This set up a nervous serving game for Djokovic and Federer pounced with aggression to break. This was it. 5-3, 5th set, Federer serving. 40-15. Then, this happened, and it is unbelievable to watch. Djokovic edged out Federer, 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5.!

So what’s next? A flight out to Sydney, Australia for Davis Cup vs the Aussies next week. Stay tuned for Davis Cup coverage as well as a possible personal, cumulative take on Roger Federer over the years. If it happens it will focus on Federer, his fans, the experience about his persona and matches, and how that has evolved into this new decade. That’s a wrap. I will end this with some quotes said by Roger from his press conference earlier today. Excerpts and video below.

“It’s awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference,” said Federer. “But it’s what it is. It’s the obvious, really. He came back; he played well. I didn’t play so well at the very end. Sure, it’s disappointing, but I have only myself to blame. I set it all up perfect, but I couldn’t finish it.

“That’s why we all watch sports, isn’t it? Because we don’t know the outcome and everybody has a chance, and until the very moment it can still turn. That’s what we love about the sport, but it’s also very cruel and tough sometimes. It got me today. It hurts, but it’s fine. Could be worse. It could be a final.”

“I will be extremely hungry going to Australia next year,” declared Federer. “It’s clear and obvious, and I know if I keep on working hard now that I’m feeling so good right now it will all pay off. I know it. I haven’t felt like this in a long time, so this is a good time.”

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