Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer face off in the first semi-final of Wimbledon 2012 on June 11, 2012. With the current French open champion Rafael Nadal eliminated in the second round itself, the winner of this semi-final has a better chance of lifting the coveted trophy. The defending champion Djokovic has been in exquisite form in the past year, winning three out of his last four Grand slams and finishing as runner-up in the other. On the other hand, Federer has been patchy off-late, winning only two Grand slams in the past three years. Age seems to have caught-up with this peerless champion. Nevertheless, he is not quite done yet and is still capable of beating anyone on his day.
The statistics though are stacked overwhelmingly in favour of Djokovic, who has won six of their last seven head-to-head clashes. The two gentlemen most recently faced each other in the French Open semi-final a couple of weeks ago. The Serb prevailed in straight sets, scoring an easy 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory. Going by his current form, one can say that Djokovic surely has the upper hand ahead of the clash.
If there was one player who reached the semi-final without much difficulties, it is the current world no.1 Djokovic. He dispatched former French open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round and followed it up with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 straight set victory over unseeded American Ryan Harrison in the second round. Against the Czech Radek Stepanek in the third round, he dropped his first and only set of the tournament but quickly came back on track to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Djokovic prevailed over unseeded fellow countryman Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, a one-sided contest that lasted just ninety minutes. Djokovic continued that form against the German Florian Mayer, defeating him 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-final to set up an eagerly anticipated semi-final clash with Federer.
Though he started well, Federer huffed and puffed on his way to the semis, narrowly escaping defeat at times and dropping a lot of sets for a player of his calibre. The Swiss wasted no time in booting the unseeded Spaniard Albert Ramos out in the first round, with a convincing 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 score-line. Up against another unseeded opponent Fabio Fognini in the second round, Roger displayed his class and easily overpowered the Italian 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in less than an hour and a half. Facing the 29th seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the third round, Federer was in deep trouble after losing the first two sets 4-6, 6-7. But he was in no mood to give up and dug deep to win the next three sets 6-2, 7-6, 6-1. The 30-year old had a tough encounter with the unseeded Belgian Xavier Malissse, playing in the fourth round of Wimbledon for only the second time,but eventually prevailed 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to progress to his 33rd consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. Mikhail Youzhny, playing in the Wimbledon quarters for the first time, was no match for the Swiss express as he was dispatched 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The Swiss would be hoping to carry on that form against Djokovic.
Will the contest prove to be a repeat of the French Open semi-final? Or will Federer defy the odds to prove his mettle once again? It is game on at Wimbledon!!!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.