Novak falls to Federer in thriller

World no.2 Novak Djokovic failed in attempt to reach his first ATP final of the season. He lost to no.3 seed Swiss Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto 1-6, 6-3, 5-7 in 2 hours and 22 minutes.

This was their 15th encounter, Federer leads 10-5

Djokovic didn’t start well. He was 0-40 down in the second game after a couple of forehand errors and Federer made an early break. The Swiss then sealed the love game with an ace to consolidate the break . He took 12 of the first 13 points in the match. Novak was broken once again in the sixth game and no.3 seed clinched the set 6-1.

Federer earned a break point in the opening game of the second set and sealed it when the 23-year-old Serb missed his forehand. Nole put some pressure on Federer’s serve in the fourth game and broke back to level the result. Djokovic was under great pressure in the seventh game. He saved two break points and after eighth deuces and 15 minutes of play held for 4-3. No.2 seed broke Federer’s serve again in the eighth game and took the set 6-3.

The 29-year-old Swiss made a break in the fourth game of the decisive final set and then held to increase his lead to 4-1. Novak fought back in the seventh game converting his third break point opportunity and then equalised the score to 4-4. The Serb had three break points in the eleventh game but Federer saved all three and Nole had to serve to stay in the match. He had two game points and chance to send the set to a tie-break, but Federer got a break point opportunity and took it when Djokovic hit a forehand into the net.

Match statistics: aces (2-11), double faults (3-2), winners (27-27), unforced errors (48-43).

“I didn’t find my rhythm. After only half an hour it was already set and break up. But I managed to come back, and I started feeling the ball better. But overall it wasn’t the best performance by my side. I wasn’t serving well when I needed to, and I made a lot of unforced errors on my backhand side,” said Novak after the match.

“So to be able to be in the position to win this match with the performance that I don’t think it’s good enough, it’s okay, it’s fine. It’s a little bit frustrating that I haven’t used the opportunity I had in the end, but he was realistically a better player today.”

For the first time in the 129 year history of the event, the top 4 men in the world were the last four men standing in the tournament. Andy Murray faces Federer in tomorrow’s final. The Scot defeated world no.1 Spaniard Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4.

Federer will reclaim world no.2 ranking on Monday and Novak will slip to no.3.

Novak’s next tournament is Western & Southern Financial Group Masters tournament, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati.

The best Serbian tennis player is second-seeded and has a first round BYE. He will face either Viktor Troicki or Radek Stepanek in the second round.

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