Novak Djokovic: ‘Roger Federer used my errors to win the second set’

After passing some 60 rivals on the ATP ranking list in 2006, Novak Djokovic was ready for more in the following season, seeking big trophies against the opponents from the very top. The Belgrade native won the title in Adelaide at the beginning of 2007, lifting the third ATP trophy of his young career and heading to Melbourne with a desire to show his best tennis after early exits at the season’s first Major in 2005 and 2006. Novak was among the players to beat after the opening three rounds, ousting Nicolas Massu (lost only two games), Feliciano Lopez and Danai Udomchoke. The Serb lost one set to arrange his third meeting against world no. 1 Roger Federer, who beat him twice in 2006.

The Swiss proved to be too good again, ousting the Serb 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes to reach quarters and remain on the title course. Roger lost only 20 points in 15 service games, placing his initial shot as he planned and facing only two break chances in the entire encounter. Novak broke once to remain competitive in set number two, but that was all we saw from a teenager.

Novak Djokovic lost to Roger Federer at the Australian Open 2007.

Djokovic dropped 45% of the points in his games and suffered five breaks from eight chances offered to Roger. Blasting around 50 winners and 25 unforced errors, Federer was almost always in front, having the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges to leave Novak behind and deliver his first loss of the season.

“I’m feeling sorry for losing the match; that’s always how you feel, even against world no. 1. I have to be satisfied with everything I did in Adelaide and Melbourne, but I couldn’t do much today. My first serve percentage was low, and that’s always very important, especially if you play against the rival who uses every opportunity you offer to him. I didn’t have confidence behind the initial shot and had to chase the result in all three sets. I came back in the second but didn’t play well in that 12th game, making some costly unforced errors. He used them and won the set. If I managed to get into a tie break, maybe I could have won the set and change the course of the clash, but that didn’t happen,” Novak Djokovic said. 

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