By Chris Oddo / Saturday, November 2, 2013
Novak Djokovic needed his best tennis to take down Roger Federer in Paris 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Photo Source: AP
In Paris on Saturday afternoon, all the ingredients of a good Federer-Djokovic tussle were there: the tension, the competitive fire from both sides, and, of course, the shotmaking.
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In the end, it was the elevated form of Novak Djokovic that made the difference as the Serb rallied from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The world No. 2 has now won 16 straight matches since losing to Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open and he keeps alive his chances of finishing No. 1 at the end of the season with the win.
Federer would draw first blood, taking the first set after knocking back four break point chances by Djokovic in the 10th game.
And the 17-time Grand Slam champion would seize on that momentum, breaking Djokovic in the first game of the second set as he looked to race off to a 17th career win against his rival.
But Djokovic would start to chip away at the Federer game and momentum from there. He broke back straight off in the next game, and then took the advantage in the sixth game of the set when Federer botched an easy forehand volley to hand the Serb the break.
From there, Djokovic would reel off seven straight points on serve to get to triple set point, and though Federer would rifle clean a return winner on the next point, Djokovic would soon close out the middle set to even things up.
In the third set, Djokovic raised his game another level and Federer simply couldn't match it. After breaking to move ahead 2-1, Djokovic would put the dagger in Federer's upset efforts when he broke the Swiss maestro a second time to lead 5-2, punctuating the break with a show-stopping return followed by a forehand winner that kissed the line.
Djokovic would hold to love in the final game to close out the proceedings. He did not face a break point in the final set, and kept Federer on edge by winning eight of nine points against his second serve.
Djokovic improves to 66-9 on the season, and 45-5 on hard courts.
Federer still leads the all-time head-to-head with Djokovic 16-14. The two players will meet again next week, as they have been drawn into the same group at the ATP World Tour Finals, which begins on Monday in London.
Djokovic will face either Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer in Sunday's Paris final.