Before taking on Novak Djokovic in the summit clash of this year’s US Open, Federer had been in 26 major finals.
Djokovic won his second US Open title after 2011, but he has lost four other times in the championship match at Arthur Ashe Stadium – in 2007 to Federer, 2010 and 2013 to Nadal and 2012 to Britain’s Andy Murray.
Roger Federer insists that he will return to the US Open in 2016 despite losing Sunday’s final 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic broke the Swiss in the opening game of the fourth set and again for a 4-3 lead, before finishing it up on his second attempt after Federer had saved his first match point. Though Djokovic doesn’t have the same count of the Grand Slam titles like Federer (17) and Nadal (14), the World No. 1 has been the most consistent player since 2011.
The 28-year-old, however, claimed three of the four grand slams in 2015 and has now reached 16 of the last 21 major finals.
Federer, who will be 35 next year, won his last title of five in New York back in 2008.
Djokovic and his number two Swiss rival had to wait out a rain delay of three hours before they could take to the court on the final edition in New York.
Djokovic is already a legend, but a few more injury-free years could see him become the world’s greatest-ever player.
He said, “I have to share my admiration for Roger, everything he’s still doing for tennis. His level is always going to [force] the best out of you and that was needed from my side”.
“We got to double digits now, and I’m flattered and honored to be a part of an elite group of players”, Djokovic said.
But he failed to breach Djokovic’s formidable defensive skills, managing to convert just four of 23 break point opportunities.
“I actually was very much looking forward to that champion’s drive from the tennis court to the hotel”, he added with a laugh, “but it wasn’t meant to be, I guess”. He was reacting to Federer’s volley wide to his right when he slipped changing direction, banging his right elbow and knee and scraping both.
From the moment they finally started, it was clear that each had brought his best tennis.
In the end, Djokovic handled everything in a thrill-a-minute final on a frenetic night. But, to be considered the all-time best, Djokovic has his work cut out for him.
In a repeat of the scenario that played out at Wimbledon two months ago, Djokovic doused the fire with which Federer had set the tournament alight in the previous two weeks.