Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have contested many notable titles over the last 17 years, battling it out in the finals of three Majors. Yet the two great rivals have never met at the US Open, coming within a win of the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium but never taking that last step.
One such situation occurred in 2010, when the Spaniard reached his first US Open final, waiting for Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. Competing against each other for the fourth year in a row in New York, Novak fended off two match points against Roger in a stunning 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5 win in three hours and 44 minutes.
minutes. Djokovic let two match points slip away at 4-5 in the decider. With two brave forehands and three games in a row, the Serbian player prevailed at the finish line and ruined the final between two dominant men’s tennis figures of the last decade.
Federer came back from 4-2 down in the first match to get two breaks and win 7-5. Djokovic was the only player on court in the second set, and the five-time winner responded with a late break in the third to increase the lead.
The Serb dominated the fourth set to force a decider, in which he had momentum. However, Novak played a weak service game at 4-5 to face two match points. He kept his cool and landed two gutsy forehand winners to ward off danger and gain a big lead.
Novak broke Roger in the 11th game and fended off a break chance in the next before sealing the deal and moving on to his third Major final. Federer praised Djokovic after the match, saying that he would have loved to face Rafa at the US Open for the first time.
“I had a couple of games this year where I was close to the finish. You feel like you’ve missed something if you lose after having match points.”
King Roger hailed tennis
Former Australian Open champion Brian Teacher lavished praise on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a recent interview.
“As far as Federer, he struggled with injuries, obviously he had his heart into it, to try and get back to playing at the highest level,” Teacher said. “He saw that it wasn’t gonna be and I think it was the perfect time to bow out.
You never know it is time until it is time, you know? When you look at how many miles he has on his body, he’s had a million miles on his body and he’s done a pretty incredible job of managing injuries and eventually, no matter how lucky you are and how good you manage it, it catches everbody, you know?” Teacher said.
“It is just too stressful, this sport, and nobody has played it that level for that length of time in that many matches, what all those guys are doing. It’s just hats off to them and it’s so fun to watch.”