US Open Final Preview – Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer

For the 1327th time (sarcasm) Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will go head to head again on the tour as both look to win the title for the first time in a long while. Roger’s last title in New York was seven years ago back in 2008 when he beat Andy Murray with Novak’s last title being back in 2011 when he beat Rafael Nadal but who will end lifting the final Grand Slam title of the year?

Excuse the sarcasm at the beginning this is actually the 42nd meeting between Novak and Roger with Roger leading the head to head 21-20. I don’t really see it as rivalry. I do think they meet far too often which isn’t their fault but maybe shows the lack of quality on the tour outside of the top 5/6?

It’s quite remarkable that Roger hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2012 and has only appeared in two finals since both Wimbledon and has lost both to Novak Djokovic. Roger has also only won 2 out of the last 23 Grand Slams he has played in since the start of 2010.

On the other hand Novak has had statistically his best year in the Grand Slams with 26 wins so far in all four combined for one year something he has never achieved before and something he hasn’t done since 2011 when he won Wimbledon and the US Open was the last time he won three Grand Slams in a row as he also won the Australian Open the following year.

I do think that Novak is the clear favourite going into this match. Despite losing their last meeting in the final of Cincinnati without even seeing a break point I do think over a best of five set match Novak has the upper hand but if I were a best of three set match then I would favour Roger. Looking at their head to head since the start of 2014 I have found this out…

Since the start of last year the head to head is level at 5-5 if you don’t include the walkover Novak received at the world tour finals when Roger withdrew. Roger has won two more sets of tennis but hasn’t won a Slam match against Novak in this time Roger won a Grand Slam match against Novak was the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2012.

Novak was on court for less than 90 minutes I believe in his semi-final against Marin Cilic which completely destroyed the defending champion to win 6-0 6-1 6-2 but Marin did struggle during the match with a foot/ankle problem. Roger on the other hand surprised me as I did expect a five set win for the world number two but he cruised past his fellow countryman quite easily.

What I am interested to see is this return of serve from Federer which is similar to chip and charge but is more like charge and chip which some don’t like but he has received its own name ‘SABR’ which stands for Sneak Attack By Roger which let’s be honest is a pretty rubbish name.

Is the Federer service return disrespectful or just clever?

My prediction is Novak in 5 sets. I do think Roger will push him but I expect Novak to have a little too much for the former champion who hasn’t had success at Flushing Meadows since 2008.

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