Djokovic upends Federer to win Rogers Cup
One day after eliminating No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic of Serbia knocked off No. 1 seed Roger Federer to capture the Rogers Cup with a thrilling 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 victory Sunday in Montreal.
Federer, the defending champion, was seeking his third Rogers Cup and 50th title of his career, but his 16-game win streak in Canada came to an end as Djokovic used his big service game to defeat the Swiss star for the first time in five meetings.
When Federer hit his final return into the net, Djokovic fell to his knees and clenched his fists in celebration then ran over to the stands to hug his coach.
"It's the biggest win of my career," Djokovic told the CBC's Brenda Irving after the match. "I've won against most of the players in the world, but I never won against him. I was really motivated before this match and I didn't have anything to lose.
"I won against some great players this week and probably played the best and most impressive tennis of my career."
Djokovic, just 20, has rocketed into the top five on the men's tour with a 48-12 record this year, including semifinal berths at the French Open and Wimbledon.
The tournament's No. 3 seed, Djokovic knocked off American Andy Roddick in Friday's quarter-final before dropping Nadal 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday night's semifinal, which lasted one hour, 40 minutes.
The Rogers Cup was Federer's first tournament since he won his fifth straight Wimbledon crown on July 8. Federer was rarely challenged this week in Montreal and was caught off guard when Djokovic jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set.
Sensing Djokovic's momentum, Federer tidied up his game and won the next three games.
It was a roller coaster affair from that point until Djokovic forced a tiebreak. The Serb went after Federer's backhand in the tiebreaker and grabbed the set with a powerful forehand down the line to take it 7-2.
Federer turned his game around in the second set. He stopped making unforced errors and approached the net more, tying the match at a set apiece after breaking Djokovic twice.
Again, it was back and forth in the third set as both players broke each other's serve and thrilled the crowd with long rallies.Djokovic broke in the opening game of the third set and jumped out to a 4-2 edge only to watch his edge disappear as Federer pulled even 4-4.
Federer pulled ahead 6-5, but Djokovic held his serve to force another tiebreaker. Once again, the 20-year-old showed nerves of steel in the critical tiebreak, winning it 7-2 on a final point that included a drop shot and lob that Federer returned through his legs and into the net.
"It's a dream come true to win such a strong tournament as this and to win against probably the best player ever in the sport," Djokovic told fans from centre court.
"I hope [Federer] won't be angry, but he can't win everything. Give him a break. Someone else has to win some time."