Friday, October 10, 2014

Federer-Djokovic XXXVI: 2014 Shanghai Semifinals

For the 36th time in their professional tennis careers, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will meet on ATP tour. The two have met four times in 2014 and they have split the meetings, but Djokovic won their most important meeting this year, in the 2014 Wimbledon final, eventually winning 6-4 in the 5th set. Overall, Federer (barely) leads their head-to-head 18-17 while Djokovic leads 6-4 in finals.

Djokovic is on an incredible 29-match winning streak in the continent of Asia, a run which stretches all the way back to the 2010 Shanghai Masters semifinal where he was beaten 7-5 6-4 by Federer. Can lightning strike twice? I hope (and believe) that it can. Federer is playing with borrowed time since he saved five(!) match points against Leonardo Mayer to clinch the #2 ranking on Wednesday while Djokovic has struggled somewhat, dropping a set against Mikhail Kukushkin on Thursday.

Regardless of what happens in the match, due to Rafael Nadal's losing his last two matches played (to lefties Martin Klizan and Feliciano Lopez), Federer will return to World #2 on Monday. With Nadal currently experiencing appendicitis but refusing to get surgery until he finishes off the season by playing the Paris Masters and the World Tour Finals it is possible that Federer could end the 2014 year at World #2.

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