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19 April 2024

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer: 5 of the best

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand return during his men's singles match against Japan's Kei Nishikori on day nine of the 2016 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. (AFP)


Novak Djokovic vs  Roger Federer resume their long rivalry in their 45th meeting in the Australian Open semi-final on Thursday.

AFP Sport looks at five of their most memorable clashes.
2007 US Open final

- Djokovic was making his first appearance in a Grand Slam final and had beaten Federer in the Montreal Masters just weeks before. The Swiss legend was too strong for the 20-year-old Serb, winning in straight sets 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, but Djokovic led 6-5 in both the first two sets and held five set points in the opening set. Federer became the first man to win four successive US Opens since Bill Tilden 80 years earlier, but it was a warning for the Swiss.
2010 US Open semi-final

- Federer held two match points in the fifth set but couldn't convert them. The Serb held, broke Federer's serve, and then served it out to win 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. Djokovic denied Federer what would have been a seventh successive final appearance at Flushing Meadows.

2011 Australian Open semi-final

- The match lasted three hours even though it comprised only three sets. Djokovic took the first set in a tight tiebreaker. Federer raised his level to establish a 5-2 lead in the second set but was unable to serve out the set and Djokovic reeled off five straight games for a two-set lead.

Federer rallied from an early break in the third set, but Djokovic won the final two games from 4-4 to claim a 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 6-4 victory.

2011 French Open semi-final

- Super-confident Djokovic went into the tournament on the back of a 43-match winning run. Federer rolled back the years and won an exceptional 70-minute opening set in a tiebreak and then claimed the second set before the Serb took the third set and was serving for the fourth. The Swiss great fought back to take the match in a tiebreak closing out in four sets 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) with his 18th ace at 9:37 pm local time.

2014 Wimbledon final

- The first Wimbledon final played between the two developed into an epic three-hour, 56-minute dogfight. They split two tie-breaks in the opening three sets before the Serb opened a 5-2 lead in the fourth set.

Federer saved championship point as Djokovic dropped five straight games and the Swiss saved three break points at 3-4 but finally cracked in his next service game, as Djokovic won the title for a second time 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-4 to regain the world number one spot.

He also prevented Federer from moving past Pete Sampras with a record eighth Wimbledon title.