Federer on fire to reach sixth US Open final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:43
As the sun slipped behind Arthur Ashe Stadum in Flushing Meadows, Roger Federer did what champions do during the second of the mens semi-finals – claimed victory in a tight match. But in a manner that precious few athletes can do, he claimed that victory with such panache that, on reflection, the result never looked in doubt.
For the third year in a row, Novak Djokovic was the victim of a New York masterclass from the defending champion as he went down 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5. That the score was so close is of huge credit to the Serbian, facing a virtuoso performance from the freewheeling Federer.
With history made at Wimbledon, the world No.1 seems well aware of his place in history, and no longer shows signs of being inhibited by that knowledge. Despite the very best efforts from Djokovic, his victory never really looked in doubt, and as if to make sure the rest of us were aware just how special a performance this was he capped it with a point that will be replayed for years.
The greatest shot I ever hit in my life – Federer
With Djokovic serving to stay in the match at 6-5 in the third, Federer hit an outrageous between-the-legs pass, whipped cross-court as a stunned Djokovic looked helplessly on. It brought up match point, which Federer took with a return winner to finish the match in just over two and a half hours.
The greatest shot I ever hit in my life was Federer’s assessment when shown a replay of the hot dog.
It is a privilege to watch history in the making as Federer, who has already bagged the Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles this year, attempts to become the first player to win three consecutive major championships in one season since Australian Rod Laver completed the Grand Slam in 1969.
Should he win on Monday, Federer will become the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to win a sixth successive US Open title. To do so, he has to call a halt to Juan Martin del Potro’s impressive run to the final after the Argentine defeated Rafael Nadal in the day’s earlier semi-final.
Federer and del Potro have met six times before and the world No.1 has won on every occasion, most recently in the semi-finals at this year’s Roland Garros. The match went to five sets, Federer winning 3-6 7-6(2) 2-6 6-1 6-4 in three hours and twenty minutes.
The mens final is scheduled for Monday 4pm EST, 9pm BST.