Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 CINCY: Federer-Djokovic XXVIII In Final

World #1 Roger Federer, 31, will face World #2 Novak Djokovic, 25, for the 28th time in their careers on Sunday, this time with the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on the line. It is the 7th final the two have contested, with the series tied at 3-all. Overall, Federer leads their rivalry 15-12 and won their last meeting, in the semifinals of this year's Wimbledon, on his way to his record 17th major title. The Swiss great has won the Cincinnati Masters title 4 times before, while 5-time major champion Djokovic is 0-3 in finals here.

In Saturday's semifinal Federer beat his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka for the 11th time in 12 meetings (now 10-0 on hard courts) 7-6(4) 6-3 despite serving atrociously (well below 50 percent first serves in with more double faults than aces). Djokovic was able to get revenge on Juan Martin del Potro for denying him his second bronze medal in the Olympics 3 weeks ago. Djokovic has been serving exceptionally well, and more importantly, defending his service games at an extraordinary rate. In his last 3 hard court tournaments he has saved an astonishing 90% of the break points against him, and today saved 5 against the hard-hitting Argentinian, which is more than he had faced in the rest of his matches combined in Cincinnati. Last week in Toronto, Djokovic won the tournament and only had his serve broken once.

By reaching the final, Federer assured that he will be seeded #1 at this year's US Open which starts on August 27th and will retain the World #1 ranking for 3 more weeks. In fact, since losing to Djokovic in last year's US Open semifinals, Federer has reached an amazing 11 of 12 semifinals and currently has a tour-leading record of 55 wins and only 7 losses for the year. Despite this fact, unless Federer improves his play substantially above what he showed today, he will be routed by the Serbian, who is approaching the peak level of play he exhibited last year when he won 3 major tournaments. With Rafael Nadal recuperating from what must be a serious knee injury and Andy Murray crashing out early in Toronto and Cincinnati, it is likely that the battle for 2012's bragging rights will come down to Federer and Djokovic, with tomorrow's final an important battle in the year-long war of attrition.

MadProfessah's prediction: Djokovic.

1 comment:

carter said...

Sorry to ruin your forecast, but the Djoker was never really in the match.
One hour, 20 minutes, Fed serves up a bagel, then wins the 2nd set tie-break!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin