Federer lost to Djokovic in the semis

Roger Federer fell to Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 in a Roland Garros semi-final re-match on Friday. Having come back from two sets down to rally past Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals, Federer believed he was in-form heading into the final four showdown with Djokovic.

Once the clouds cleared over south-west Paris, the second semi-final began with Federer in confident mood. Moving flawlessly, the Swiss gave Djokovic little time to recover by hitting his forehands early on the rise. The tactic reaped dividends with Djokovic falling to 15/40 at 2-2. Federer converted his second opportunity with a powerful forehand winner, but honours were soon even as Djokovic immediately broke back, to 30, for 3-3. Djokovic had weathered the storm, but Federer continued to flirt with the lines and over-pressed. The third seed fell to 15/40 at 4-5, two set points for Djokovic. The Serbian sealed the 34-minute set when Federer overcooked a forehand long. Djokovic hit 10 winners and committed just three unforced errors.

Federer continued to be aggressive, winning a 36-shot rally when Djokovic led 40/30 in the first game of the second set. The Swiss went onto convert a break point opportunity by hitting a smash winner. He soon took a 3-0 lead, to leave Djokovic breathing a little heavier, after a second service break to 30. But the World No. 1 responded, recovering to 2-3, to keep the pressure on. Federer could have made it 5-2, but failed to convert three break point chances. Would it cost him? It did. Federer initially became tentative and his forehand unforced error count increased. The pair exchanged service breaks, before Federer served for the set at 5-4. Djokovic held his nerve and won three straight games, converting his second set point chance when Federer ballooned a forehand long. Federer won 14 of his 35 service points in the 53-minute set, while Djokovic hit 11 winners and converted four of his five break point opportunities.

Federer paid the price for a spate of missed first serves in the sixth game. He recovered from 15/40, but Djokovic converted his third break point chance as Federer buried a forehand in the net. The 30-year-old Federer made Djokovic serve it out and the Serb opens up a 40/15 lead in the ninth game with a remarkable backhand passing shot. The Belgrade native missed his first match point with a forehand long, but converted his second opportunity with an unreturned serve. He claimed victory after two hours and five minutes, having hit 27 winners and capitalised on 46 unforced errors from Federer’s racquet.

Federer was looking to reach the Roland Garros final for the sixth time. He completed the career Grand Slam with victory in 2009 (d. Soderling) and lost out to Nadal in the finals in 2006-2008 and 2011. The Swiss has won a record 16 Grand Slam championships, but has not triumphed at a major since the 2010 Australian Open (d. Murray).

"I thought he played well under tough conditions," assessed Federer. "I wasn't able to sustain maybe a solid enough game today. I did have enough chances, so it's no excuse there. I tried, and it just didn't work out today."

"Semi-finals is, at the end of the day, a very good result for any tennis player. For me, too. I wish I could have done a bit better today, especially with the wasted opportunities. But that's how it goes sometimes. I've got to go change things around now for grass anyway. I'm looking forward to that. It's been a difficult clay court season."

“Overall, I did feel my very best coming into the semis today,” said Federer. “I was where I wanted to be, but ran into an opponent who was just better today. Still, it gives me a little bit of a lift coming into the grass-court season now.”

Evaluating how the match went down, Federer was most disappointed about dropping the second set.

“I was actually feeling particularly well in the second set, so that one obviously hurts the most to lose. And the first set, too,” Federer said. “But in the third, I wasn't able to put a good game together anymore. And the return in particular, obviously with a two sets to love lead against Novak it's not the same match anymore."

“I would have liked to do better here at Roland Garros. I'm supported so much, and I won in 2009, also. So I wanted to re-experience this. Unfortunately, it was not possible at all during these two weeks.”

Date: 08.06.2012, Source: ATP


  1. Roger looked like a deer in lion's den. His weakness is his lack of speed, other than that he is still the BEST tennis player.