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Miami semi-final gallery: Federer vs Djokovic

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:54

Mens semi finals day at Crandon Park and, as the seedings had predicted, the No.2 and No.3 seeds Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic faced off for a place in the final. Conditions were sunny and blustery, which proved to be significant as Djokovic beat the Swiss 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Federer claimed the first set comfortably, instantly adapting to the conditions as he raced to a 5-1 lead. From then, though, the warning signs emerged as a slightly off-colour Federer gifted Novak 2 games before closing out the set.

From the start of second set, the 13-time Grand Slam champion’s form abandoned him. Djokovic broke for a 2-0 lead and Federer’s forehand, so impressive in the first set, faltered on break-back point in the following game. After trading breaks, the forlorn-looking Swiss exited the set with successive double-faults.

Alarmingly, things went from bad to worse for the two-time former Miami champ. A routine backhand volley into the tram lines was followed by three more unforced errors to hand Djokovic the advantage in game two of the decider, which included the unusual spectacle of the super-cool Swiss smashing his racket in frustration.

Djokovic had been far from at his best in the testing conditions, and a couple of double-faults at 4-0 let Federer back into the set. But the Serb remained solid enough to serve out the victory and prolong Federer’s lengthy wait for a first Masters title since 2007.

Commenting afterwards, the Swiss said: I thought I was playing OK in the first set, but it was always going to be tough in the wind. Novak, in contrast, said he had started the match impatiently. Even though I served really well, high percentage of first serves, I was quite nervous and making a lot of unforced errors

But then it changed, he added. Never was a truer word spoken.

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