Once again in a Grand Slam final, world’s two leading tennis stars will face each other. They met at Wimbledon a couple of months ago, when Djokovic walked off as the eventual champion. This US open, both Djokovic and Federer have played marvelously and delighted the organizers with their seeds ranking. After the no.1 and no.2 women seeds lost their matches unexpectedly earlier on Friday, the crowd at the Flushing Meadows and viewers globally will have an opportunity of watching the Djokovic-Federer contest on Sunday and they can’t wait. In the first semifinal on Friday evening, Novak Djokovic steamrolled defending champion Marin Cilic in straight sets, losing only three games in the entire match. The Croat had the taste of the Serb’s powerful game as he watched like a spectator. In the following semifinal between two Swiss stars, Federer began slowly against Wawrinka but took control as the match progressed. It was a clinical display from the 5-time US Open champion, whose last title at Flushing Meadows came in 2008. Wawrinka had his chances but he was never allowed to call the shots. With their current performance levels, both players are likely to turn out their best show in Sunday’s final, which promises to be an intriguing affair.
The Djokovic-Cilic match began soon after Serena Williams was dumped out of the US Open on Friday. The spectators were yet to recover from her shocking exit even as Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic appeared on court at the Arthur Ashe stadium. What followed was an unusual spectacle as Djokovic kept winning game after game. He did it for seven games in a row before Cilic could hold his serve in the eighth. By that time, the Croat was handed the first set bagel by Djokovic. But Cilic couldn’t do anything about the perfect play by Djokovic as he helplessly watched the shots fly by him. He ceased to look like last year’s defending champion as Djokovic mounted the pressure and took the second set 6-1. The third set also went in the same way and Djokovic entered the men’s singles final without breaking sweat. His opponent will be Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who played as powerfully as he has played all these days in beating compatriot Stan Wawrinka also in straight sets.
In the match between the two Swiss players, Roger Federer did not begin by showing an instant onslaught. It was instead the versatility of the world no.2 that came to the fore against his accomplished compatriot. Federer played a mix of deep groundstrokes and his ever reliable net game. Once he started attacking Wawrinka’s serve, he assumed control. He needed just one break in the first set and that was enough. With service holds on either side, the first set ended 6-4 in Federer’s favor. In the second set, they held their serves until 2-2 before Federer got five chances to break Wawrinka but missed all of them. When Wawrinka served at 3-3, he slipped to 0-40. This time Federer didn’t falter and broke Wawrinka. Now there was no stopping Federer as he pulled away decisively to take the second set 6-3 by winning 16 of out of 17 points. The third set didn’t last long after the two-set lead. Federer stormed to an early lead and kept firing relentlessly at Wawrinka. Federer allowed only 14 points to Wawrinka in the third set that he took at 6-1.
Federer lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon but since then, he has looked a vastly improved player. At Flushing Meadows, the Swiss won 18 sets in a row without ever looking in trouble. But Djokovic is a complete player as well and the final will be fought on equal terms. Lately, Federer’s swashbuckling form is doing the rounds in tennis circles, more for his SABR, which is an acronym for Sneak Attack By Roger. He used that trick to good effect in the third game against Wawrinka. In earlier matches too, Federer has been quite successful in confounding his rivals with the sudden shot that he used mostly on their second service. The Serbian comes from a different breed and since late 2013, he has been playing commandingly. He had the odd losses but that were very few. The final between the two lead players cannot be missed for the world.
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