Federer plots Basel revenge against Djokovic
Basel (Switzerland) : Roger Federer will look to record his third win in four matches against Novak Djokovic as the Swiss great bids to regain his title at the ATP Swiss
Hometown pride will also be on the line for the top seed and three-time champion (2006-2008), as Federer faces the Serb he has beaten in 11 of 17 meetings in front of a sell-out
crowd at the St Jakobshalle.
Federer thrashed long-time rival Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-4 in his semi-final on yesterday, continuing the ruthless form that has carried him to overwhelming victories all week at the hall where he began his tennis career as a ballboy.
Djokovic engineered a second straight escape against dangerous compatriot Viktor Troicki, with the second seed eking out a 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 win.
The Serb took the Basel trophy from Federer in the 2009 final and the 16-time Grand Slam-winner is keen to exact revenge.
"Playing Novak is as tough as they come," said Federer, who beat Djokovic recently in Shanghai and Canada but lost to him in a five-set US Open semi-final.
"He likes a fast indoor court. A lot of our matches have been close. That`s exactly what I`m looking for again."
Djokovic, however, is keen to hold onto his title – and an undefeated 9-0 record in Basel.
"Roger and I know each other`s games well," he said.
"He`s been on the top level for six or seven years and is the best ever. He`s at the top of his game all the time."
Federer had no mercy for Roddick, who he has now defeated in 20 of 22 career matches stretching back ten years and starting here in 2001.
That winning run includes victories in three Wimbledon finals, the latest in 2009.
Federer fired 13 aces to just four for his big-serving opponent.
The Swiss was broken at the start of the second set but fought back to 3-3 and polished off victory in 70 minutes with a crisp passing winner.
"It always works out well for me against Andy, he couldn`t serve an ace for a long time in the match," said Federer.
"I`m comfortable with his game, it`s good for my style."
Djokovic found himself in a struggle with his Davis Cup team-mate Troicki as both men prepare for the weekend that could determine their tennis season, with Serbia hosting
France in the Davis Cup final in Belgrade on December 3-5.
"I was lucky to get out of the first set," said Djokovic.
"That helped me to regain my confidence. He was the better player and was close to the win," said the Serb, who saved three set points in the 12th game of the opening set to
turn the momentum in his favour.
"The key point in the match was that 6-5 game. If he had won the first set, god knows what would have happened."