In their 2010 US Open semi-final clash, Novak Djokovic prevailed over Roger Federer 7-5 in the deciding set after fending off two match points. It was the Serb’s sixth victory over the Swiss, and he hoped for another a few weeks later in the Shanghai Masters semi-final. Both players scored convincing victories over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Robin Soderling in the quarters to set the 17th meeting on the Tour. The more experienced Swiss claimed the 11th victory, beating Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes and advancing to his 29th Masters 1000 final and the fourth that year.
Roger won ten points more than Novak, fending off four out of five break chances and delivering three breaks that sent him over the top. When we combined those groups, they had a similar number of winners and forced errors, and Novak sprayed more unforced errors to ruin his chances despite a solid effort. The Serb had a slim advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes but lost the ground entirely in the more advanced exchanges to propel Federer over the finish line in straight sets. Djokovic held after deuce in the first game, and Federer added his name on the scoreboard with a forehand winner in game two. The Serb had to work hard at 1-1, surviving three deuces to remain on the positive side before pushing Roger to the limits in game four.
In Shanghai 2010, Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
The Swiss fended off no less than four break chances (two with winners and two after Djokovic’s mistakes) to avoid an early setback and level the score at 2-2. Both players produced comfortable holds in the next five games, with Federer serving to stay in the set at 4-5. Roger held after deuce to extend the battle, earned his first break chances in game 11 and converted the second when Novak netted a backhand to open a 6-5 gap. Serving for the set, Federer fired three winners to wrap up the first part of the encounter with an ace after 63 minutes.
With momentum on his side, Roger broke at the beginning of the second set thanks to Novak’s loose forehand, and the Serb had to overcome a set and a break down if he wanted to fight for the victory. A service winner sent Federer 2-0 in front, and he produced another quick hold to open a 3-1 gap. The Swiss secured another break with a smash winner in game five, only to lose serve for the first time in the next one and keep Djokovic within one break deficit. Serving for the triumph at 5-4, Federer blasted three winners and forced Djokovic’s error to seal the deal and advance into the final on his debut in Shanghai, facing Andy Murray in the title clash.