Federer Stops Djokovic, Next Up is Nadal In Final

Roger Federer stopped Novak Djokovic from equaling 1 major tennis record, and now he has a chance to maintain Rafael Nadal from matching yet another.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion moved into the French Open final for the fifth time, and he did it by spoiling Djokovic's best season and ending his 43-match winning streak.

"Rafa and Novak as well as other guys have stopped me, too. It's just the way it goes," Federer stated right after beating Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) as darkness was settling over Court Philippe Chatrier. "I said it earlier, I wasn't here to spoil the party."

Federer Stops Djokovic, Next Up is Nadal In Final
Defending champion Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Britain's Andy Murray during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, June 3, 2011

Federer's next opportunity to do just that will come Sunday, when he meets Nadal in the final of the French Open for the fourth time. The top-ranked Spaniard, who defeated Andy Murray 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, can equal Bjorn Borg's record of six titles at Roland Garros with a victory.

"A lot of respect for the fantastic Bjorn, but I ... focus on (attempting) to play well," stated Nadal, who's 44-1 at Roland Garros. "For me, is much more important win Roland Garros than equal Bjorn."

On Saturday, defending champion Francesca Schiavone will face Li Na in the women's final.

Federer has won far more main titles than everyone in history, but he is 2-5 in Grand Slam finals against Nadal - and 0-3 at Roland Garros. Overall, Nadal has won 16 of their 24 matches.

"Silverware is still out there to be won, and I'm looking forward to the match with Rafa, which I guess is my accurate rival for the last - all those years considering that he became world No. 1," said Federer, the 2009 French Open champion. "It usually seems to me that Rafa wants to be in a French Open final to make it special, and I got the match I guess I was hoping for."

Facing Djokovic, even so, was a match nobody was hoping for.

The second-seeded Serb, who can still take over the No. 1 ranking if Federer beats Nadal on Sunday, entered the French Open with a 41-0 record in 2011, one shy of the Open era record set by John McEnroe in 1984.

And his 43-match winning streak, dating back to last year's David Cup final, included a pair of clay-court final wins over Nadal.

"Beating Novak nowadays was perhaps a great birthday gift for him because he lost his four previous matches against Novak," Federer said of Nadal, who turned 25 on Friday. "I'm going to play against Nadal, my primary rival, in one more Grand Slam final. We live for these moments."

Federer won the first set immediately after 3 straight unforced errors from Djokovic inside the tiebreaker, and then went up a break early within the second. Djokovic responded in the third, but Federer was too tough in the second tiebreaker.

"He went for the shots when he necessary to. He served seriously well when he necessary to serve well," Djokovic stated. "What happened, happened definitely. I can't affect it anymore. In some moments I was lucky, in some moments he was lucky."

Nadal wasn't specifically best against Murray, but he was much better, saving 15 of 18 break points and converting six of the 13 he earned.

"I had loads of break-point opportunities. Rafa played nicely on a great deal of them," Murray stated. "He served well and was able to dictate many the points with his forehand."

Given that opening the tournament by falling behind two sets to 1 against John Isner, Nadal has won 17 sets in a row. Whatever problems he had to start seem to have completly disappeared.

"Being in the final of Roland Garros you cannot have challenges," said Nadal, whose only French Open loss came within the fourth round in 2009. "You cannot have doubts."

Related Posts Federer Stops Djokovic, Next Up is Nadal In Final on News and Information Update Today

powered by Facebook Episodes

Bookmark and Share