Novak Djokovic Battles His Way to the US Open FinalRoger Federer Gave His All in This Five-Set Classic
Roger Federer was up 5-3 in the fifth set with two match points. An ace or winner by Roger Federer would send him to the US Open, giving him a chance to win his sixth US Open Title. Novak Djokovic had a different ending to the match.
Djokovic fought off both break points, first with an amazing forehand that led him to urge the crowd to cheer him on, and Federer never won another game in the match, as Djokovic closed out the match 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
With Sean “Diddy” Combs rooting him on from his box with his family, and with numerous stars in attendance, including recording artist Justin Timberlake, actor Michael Douglass, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, actor Jeremy Piven, and many more, Djokovic, along with Federer, treated the crowd of 24,071 at Arthur Ashe Stadium to a nearly four-hour duel that will not leave the memory of tennis fans any time soon.
“I was very close to being on my way back home. He was serving. He was up 40-15. I managed to hit that amazing forehand return which got me back. I got a little bit of energy from the crowd, and I fought back” Djokovic said after the match. When asked if there was frustration in the forehand that changed the match, Djokovic responded “I needed to get some energy from the crowd. I thought at that certain moment I needed to get a little bit of the crowd energy behind my back.”
Roger Federer had a different mood after the tough loss. “it’s awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference.” When asked about the Djokovic forehand, Federer responded” Snaps one shot, and then the whole thing changes.” Asked about how the loss felt, Federer responded “It hurts. But it’s fine. Could be worse. It could be a final.”
When I asked Djokovic how it came about that Diddy was in his box rooting for him, he responded, smiling, “Well, it was great to have him there. We met at one party that I cannot talk about details. He is such a huge star obviously in show business, and he’s a character and a very successful man. So it was great to have him out there. I think it was very interesting the way he supported me.”
With the four Grand Slam tournaments over, Federer was asked about motivation for next year. “I guess I will be extremely hungry going to Australia next year. I haven’t felt like this in a long time, so this is a good time.”
When asked about facing either Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray in Monday’s US Open Men’s Final and what he needs to do to win, Djokovic responded “Just try to play my game. I know that I have a game that is good enough to win. I need to go on the court believing I can win.” Djokovic certainly believed he could win today, and, against arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, down two match points, he believed, and he won.