Novak Djokovic claimed his first master’s clay court 1000 title in Rome 2008. The Serb returned a year later in the Italian Forum and reached the semi-finals. The world’s best players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, stood between Novak and the second Rome crown.
The Serb played his first test in the semi-final with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Roger Federer. Novak defeated Rogers after two hours and 11 minutes, trailing 3-1 after losing in twos and threes before emerging on top to face off against Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic beat Federer for the fourth time and defended his first on clay, winning eight of 11 points and earning five breaks to pass the first goal. Federer was able to open a 6-4, 3-0 advantage and was moving closer to the goal.
However, he squandered chances in the second and third of the game before rain sent him off the court for 70 minutes. When Djokovic came back, they played more aggressively and took the power of a composed style.
The Serb admitted it would have been tough to catch Roger if he had gone 6-4, 3-0. Novak said he played harder and hit the court again. Djokovic managed to defend the break at 1-3 when he resumed the battle and broke to close the result at 3-3.
Novak Djokovic turned the tables against Roger Federer at Rome 2009.
The Swiss sprinkled another shaking error in the eighth game to fall 5-3 and allow the Serbs to complete an impressive comeback and seal the set at love.
Federer has dropped five straight games and is all over the place in the decider. He recovered his game and has two more comfortable points at the start of the final set. Roger Novak broke through at 15 in game four to open up a 3-1 lead thanks to a wild Serbian hand.
In a pivotal moment, Djokovic broke to love in game five with a forehand winner and forced Federer’s error in the forehand to seal the outcome at 3-3. With his attack, Novak stole his opponent’s serve again in game seven and held 15 in the next round.
The reigning champion sealed the deal with a fifth break in game nine when Rogers placed a swing wide, advancing to his ninth Masters 1000 final at 21. “The second and third game was critical before the rain period.
Everyone will say that the rain helped me, and I did much better after that. When we came back, I was moving better and always forced Roger to play outside the ball. It could have broken me again, and it would have been much harder to make a comeback.
Although I lost it, I played well in the open, clearing all the late mistakes. Roger’s service was working well before the rain, and when he returned we had trouble. He started feeling the pressure, as I returned well and sent many balls,” Novak Djokovic said.