Roger Federer breaks Novak Djokovic’s 43 match winning streak* (41 straight matches in 2011) and denies him the number 1 position by winning the French Open semifinals in a nail-biter of a 4th set tie-breaker! Final score 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). Was this the BEST match of the 2011 French Open so far? I think so. Novak Djokovic could still become world #1, IF Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in the final. Tall order I know, but it would be awful nice of Rogie, wouldn’t it? What do you think?
Here’s what Roger thinks, quotes via NBCSports.com:
“I’ve trained a lot during my whole life for these kinds of matches,” Federer said. “There was an enormous amount of pressure on Novak and he really played well.”
“What I would like to say, and I said it to him (Nole) at the net, is that his record, although it’s not the best because other players have done better – today it’s so physical and professional – what he achieved is unbelievable,” Federer said.
“Beating Novak today was maybe a good birthday gift for him (Rafa, who turns 25 years old) because he lost his four previous matches against Novak,” Federer said. “I’m going to play against Nadal, my main rival, in another Grand Slam final. We live for these moments.”
As for Novak Djokovic, it was a lot to ask and a lot to expect of anyone, to continue this remarkable run under such tremendous pressure. Yet I suspect many of us (who, me?) thought Nole could, and would, pull it off – all the way to upsetting Rafa in the final. And from a purely neutral perspective, it’s a little disappointing that the lesser-underdog won’t be facing the King of Clay on Sunday – it was the expected and fitting climax to this fascinating clay court season. But regardless of how you wanted things to work out this weekend, no one can be disappointed at the state of men’s tennis at the very top of the game. Even though it’s the same old Top 3, these guys have kept the storylines flowing, the rivalries expanding and the intrigue growing. And we have Wimbledon to look forward to in just a couple weeks. Well done, gentleman. Game on!
If like me, you were stuck in the office this morning, or if you just want to relive Roger’s upset of the hottest player on tour, you can check out a full match replay here.