French Open 2011 Semifinal Preview: Djokovic vs. Federer (Part I)
June 2, 2011 · Print This Article
During this year’s French Open Championships, Jack Han will preview the day’s action right here before the start of play. What are Jack’s thoughts on 2009 winner Roger Federer attempting to stop Novak Djokovic in his quest to gain the No. 1 ranking?
Federer (3) vs. Djokovic (2)—Federer leads the pair’s head-to-head series 13-9.
How much of a chance can we give a player who’s been knocked out of the last 2 Grand Slam tournaments at the same stage by the same player he will be facing in the next round? Assuredly, not much of a chance.
Djokovic playing at the level as he’s performed at since the beginning of the season trumps Federer playing at a similar level in straight sets, especially on clay, where Federer’s eroding foot speed and dwindling shot tolerance forces him to press when challenged and hit too many unforced errors. Backhand to backhand, there isn’t much of a comparison – Djokovic has the edge hands down. Forehand to forehand, Federer has more put-away power and sheer racket-head speed, but when the Swiss is on the run you have to like Djokovic’s chances.
Realistically speaking, it would take a cataclysmic event, like an injury or a severe choke, for Djokovic to lose this match to Federer. He could play really, really badly and lose, but if he can keep hitting the ball and staying composed the way he has been all season long, it’s doubtful Federer can find that 7th gear to keep up and overtake him – Roger hasn’t found that gear in a while, and maybe he’ll never find it again. I hope I’m wrong, but facts don’t lie.
Pick: Djokovic in 3
For Nima Naderi’s rebuttal to Jack’s prediction, click here.