Nole saves 2 MPs, downs Federer for second US Open final!

World no.3 Novak Djokovic saved two match points in a five set thriller to defeated no.2 seed and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in 3 hours and 44 minutes for a place in his second US Open final!

Djokovic was pushed to deuce in the opening game of the match. The Serb found his rhythm in time to set up a game point with the first ace before going on to hold. Novak earned himself two break points in the second game, but Federer held. The Swiss missed his chance for break in the third game. Nole broke his serve in the sixth game, but Federer broke back immediately and made one more break in the eleventh game which was enough for him to take the first set 7-5 in 51 minutes.

Novak was brilliant in the second set. He broke his opponent’s service twice, in the second and sixth games, and won it 6-1 in just 26 minutes.

There were no chances for break in the third set until the 12th game, when Federer earned three in a row, which were also set points. He converted the first to clinch the set 7-5.

Djokovic raised the level of his game in the fourth set. He put the pressure on no.2 seed and just like in the second set made a double break and cemented it with a love hold for 5-1. The 23-year-old from Belgrade served it out 6-2.

The match went into a deciding set, the first time they have played a fifth set against each other in their career. Nole pushed Federer to deuce in the third game, but the Swiss held. The best Serbian tennis player put up a great fight again in the seventh game, but Federer survived. Novak faced two break/match points serving to stay in the match in the tenth game, but fought bravely and held to level the result. He then made a break to go up 6-5 earning himself opportunity to serve out the match. He saved a break point before closing the set and match 7-5.

Djokovic has been beaten by Federer at the US Open for the past three years, now he’s won and prevented the Swiss from reaching his seventh consecutive final in New York. With this victory, Nole will surpass Federer in the ATP Rankings as of Monday, September 13, to re-claim the no.2 spot.

It’s Novak’s sixth win in their sixteen matches.

“It was just a big pleasure playing in this kind of match,” said Djokovic after the victory. “It’s one of those matches you’ll always remember in your career, not just because you won against one of the best players that ever played this game, but coming back from match points down and playing good tennis to win in the end. I’m just so thrilled to be in the final.”

“To be honest I was just closing my eyes and hitting forehands as fast as I can on the match points. If it goes in, it goes in. If it goes out, you know, another loss to Federer in the US Open. I managed to come back. I was very lucky.”

”The fifth set was very intense – mentally and physically – and took a lot out of me,”
said Nole. “But in the end, it’s a remarkable win, and I’m sure I will find the strength to give my best tomorrow in the court.”

Match statistics: aces (4-12), double faults (3-5), winners (36-48), unforced errors (38-66), total points won (163-148)

Novak will face world number one Rafael Nadal in the final in attempt to win his second career Grand Slam title. The Spaniard beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

Steady rain forced organisers to postpone the final till Monday at 4pm (10pm CET).

It will be the 22nd encounter between Djokovic and Nadal, Rafa leads 14-7.

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