Novak Djokovic (photo ©Spekoek) reached the final defeating Joao Souza, Andreas Haider-Maurer, Andreas Seppi, Roberto Bautista Agut, Feliciano Lopez and Marin Cilic. So far he lost a total of two sets: one to Bautista-Agut and one to Lopez. This is his sixth U.S. Open final and won the 2011 one.
Roger Federer reached the final defeating Leonardo Mayer, Steve Darcis, Philipp Kohlschreiber, John Isner, Richard Gasquet and Stan Wawrinka. So far he lost no sets. This is his seventh U.S. Open final and won five of the previous six.
The finale begins with a delay of about three hours because of the rain. Novak Djokovic has a total of three break points in the first game but Federer wins his service game after about seven minutes. The Swiss demands a lot from his service to try to limit the his opponent’s return but in the third game gets broken. In the fourth game the Serb falls, gets a few bruises and especially gets broken back. Before the sixth game, Djokovic has the bruises treated and also seems to get his concentration back in the game because in the seventh game breaks Federer again. The Serb, however, makes a couple of mistakes and offers a break point in the eighth game to the Swiss but wins his service game. In the ninth game Federer is the one offering a break point which is also a set point but wins his service game too. In the tenth game Djokovic ends the first set 6-4.
In the second set Federer becomes more aggressive with his return and in the second game has five break points but Novak Djokovic wins his service game. In the fourth game, the Swiss tries the new return called “SABR” but in two cases the Serb lobs him. However, Federer is able to keep more rallies shorter than the first set, limiting a factor that favored the Serb. In the tenth game Djokovic’s shots are often shorter than before and offers the Swiss two break points that are also set points but wins his service game at the end of a game that lasts about fifteen minutes. The Serb make some mistakes and in the twelfth game Federer breaks him to close the second set 7-5.
In the third set Federer is still trying to be aggressive but makes some mistakes and in the third game Novak Djokovic breaks him. The Serb, however, doesn’t take advantage of the situation, on the contrary makes too many mistakes and in the fourth game gets broken back. In the eighth game, Djokovic fom 40-0 offers two break points but wins his service game and in the ninth game breaks Federer, serves for the set, offers two break points but cancels them and eventually closes the third set 6-4.
In the fourth set Novak Djokovic breaks Roger Federer in the first game. The Swiss seems to suffer from some fatigue and tries to shorten the rallies even doing serve and volley. Once again, the Serb doesn’t take advantage of the situation and in the sixth game offers his opponent a break point but wins his service game. In the seventh game Djokovic breaks Federer again with a lightning fast return on the break point, serves for the title at 5-2 but gets broken, serves again for the title at 5-4, offers a total of three break points but cancels them and closes the fourth set 6-4 conquering the match and his second U.S. Open title.
Roger Federer prepared at his best for this U.S. Open skipping the Montreal tournament and playing only the Cincinnati one, which he won by defeating Djokovic in the final, to avoid wasting energy. Nevertheless, in the best-of-5 sets he keeps on losing to Djokovic, even when he reaches the final easily. For some time, every time he plays the final of a Grand Slam tournament it’s said it might be his last chance but he manages to surprise us reaching another one. As long as Djokovic is at these levels, for Federer it seems impossible to win another Grand Slam title.
Novak Djokovic played a final that in my opinion was far from exceptional, especially because he often had a lousy serve and wasted some chances to win more easily. In Wimbledon he also struggled more than he needed essentially giving away a set to Federer but, as in this case, he ended up winning the title. Honestly in this final I saw more errors than great shots to finish an edition of the men’s singles I found overall of limited level. Djokovic eventually won, proving that he’s the strongest and the most consistent.