In the previous 17 years, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have competed for numerous prestigious trophies and faced off in the championship matches of three Majors. Even so, two fierce rivals who were just one victory from facing off in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open never took that final step.
The Spaniard reached his first US Open final in 2010, where he awaited either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. In their fourth consecutive year of competition in New York, Novak defeated Roger by saving two match points en route to an incredible triumph of 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in three hours and 44 minutes!
Two match points were saved by Djokovic at 4-5 in the final. He broke through the finish line and ruined the final between two dominant men’s tennis players from the previous ten years with two daring forehand wins and three straight games.
Federer overcame a 4-2 behind in the first set to take two breaks and win it 7-5. In the second set, Djokovic was the only player on the court, and the five-time champion retaliated with a late break in the third to gain the upper hand.
In order to force a decider, where he had momentum, the Serb controlled set number four. Nevertheless, Novak faced two match chances after playing a sloppy serve game at 4-5. He avoided panic and successfully hit two daring forehand winners to eliminate the threat and gain a significant advantage.
In the eleventh game, Novak broke Roger at 30 and then held off a break opportunity in the following game to secure the victory and go to his third Major final. After the encounter, Federer praised Djokovic and said he would have delighted to first meet Rafa at the US Open.
At the 2010 US Open, Roger Federer lost two match points to Novak Djokovic.
“This year, I played in a few games where I was on the verge of winning. If you lose after possessing match points, you may feel as though something was missing.
There were no lengthy rallies, the match wasn’t very long, and I wasn’t exhausted. Physically, I was in good shape, and unlike in the other rounds, the wind was not a problem. Rafa was never a finalist in any of the previous six years, which is disappointing because I would have wanted to play him here.
We were only one point away from facing off in the championship game, but it was not to be. I made an effort to play abrasively and avoid giving Novak too much rhythm, but everything I did came back at me. At the very end, I did miss a few forehands too frequently, but the winners did not determine the winner.
You can also see my errors, which Novak encouraged me to make; I give him credit for that. I believe my game is strong, and I would have earned a spot in tomorrow’s championship match. In our three prior encounters here in New York, Novak played well against me.
He has often demonstrated his ability to perform well under duress. I had the impression that I had some control over the racquet. Simply put, I should have had him work harder throughout those two sets instead of letting them slide away too easily. However, as in the final from the previous year, I did have a match point and was a few points away from winning “said Roger Federer.