Basel Flashback: Novak Djokovic Dethrones Hometown Hero Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic dethrones local hero Roger Federer


After missing out on his hometown event in 2004 and 2005, Roger Federer claimed his first Basel title in 2006. It marked the start of his dominant career that had been alive for almost 15 years, winning ten titles in front of the home crowd in 13 consecutive finals. !

Roger had 19 consecutive wins in Basel between 2006 and 2009. Still, he failed to clinch the fourth consecutive title, losing the 2009 final to Novak Djokovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on November 8 and suffering his first loss. at the Basel finals since 2001!

It was their 14th meeting and the fifth victory for Novak. They met for the fifth time in 2009, with Novak beating Roger for the third time after Miami and Rome while losing at Cincinnati and the US Open. The 22-year-old Serb made his Basel debut that year and scored solid wins over Andreas Beck and Jan Hernych (a double bagel).

Novak worked much harder against Stan Wawrinka and Radek Stepanek, coming from the brink of defeat against both rivals to reach his fifth indoor ATP final. Roger faced seven break points in the first four matches against his junior doubles partner and friend Olivier Rochus, Andreas Seppi, Evgeny Korolev and Marco Chiudinelli.

The local favorite never lost serve before a much tougher test against the second seed, who was in the top 3 for a few years. Novak was reducing the deficit of Federer and Nadal, preparing to conquer the tennis world in 2011.

Roger served at 71%, which wasn’t enough to keep him safe against such a reliable returner. He lost 38% of the points in his games and suffered four breaks from eight chances offered to Novak.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the 2009 Basel final.

On the other hand, the Serb played against 11 break chances, fending off nine and limiting damage in his games.

Djokovic knew he had to take the fire out of Roger’s shots and impose his punches. He hit more winners and fewer unforced errors and kept in touch with Federer in shorter rallies of up to four shots. Other than that, nothing could separate them in the longest exchanges with nine shots or more.

However, Novak created the crucial difference in the mid-range rallies, beating Roger with a strong performance in the deciding set and ending his Basel streak. Both players served well in the first eight games before Novak drew first blood with a break for a 5-4 lead when Roger sent an easy forehand long.

Game 10 was one of the longest that Roger and Novak had ever played, with 11 deuces and five break points. Djokovic emerged on top after a forehand error from Federer to clinch the game after more than 20 minutes and claim the first set.

Roger was broken early in the second set when his forehand found the net before recovering it at 1-2 after a drop shot winner. The local star grabbed another break in game ten after Novak’s forehand error to take the set 6-4 and send the encounter to a decider.

Federer suffered a break in the opening game following a loose forehand, and Novak advanced 3-0 with another break that brought him closer to the finish line. Serving at 4-1, Djokovic won five points in a row to repel three break chances.

He sealed the deal with a hold at 30 in game eight after Federer’s backhand error and became the first player to beat the local star in six years.

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