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Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in US Open semis

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic had lost to Federer for the last three years in New York

Novak Djokovic saved two match points on his way to a stunning win over Roger Federer in the US Open semi-finals.

The Serbian, seeded third, won an extraordinary match 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5 to end Federer's run of six consecutive finals at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic is through to his second New York final, and he will face world number one Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

The Spaniard beat Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3 6-4 in the first semi-final on 'Super Saturday'.

Nadal is trying to become only the seventh man to complete the set of all four Grand Slam titles and had been widely expected to face five-time champion Federer in the final, but Djokovic had other ideas.

Despite having lost to the Swiss for the last three years running in New York, including in the 2007 final, the 23-year-old proved to have the stronger nerve in the closing stages on Saturday.

It's a tough loss for me but it's only going to fuel me with more motivation to practice hard and get back to Grand Slam finals

Roger Federer

That had not appeared likely when he let an early 4-2 lead slip in the first set, all but handing it to Federer by dropping serve to love in game 11.

But Federer was playing well below the level he found in beating Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, with his serve particularly fragile, and Djokovic broke twice on his way to levelling the match.

A tense third set looked to be heading for a tie-break until Djokovic suffered a meltdown in the closing stages, smacking his head with his racket in frustration before losing the last seven points in a row.

Again, Federer could not build on his advantage, and a backhand pass from Djokovic in game three of the fourth put the Serbian in control before, in a repeat of the second set, he got the double-break to force a decider.

In a dramatic final set of shifting fortunes, extravagant winners and unexpected errors, Djokovic held his game together much the better of the two men.

606: DEBATE

That seemed like it would count for little at 5-5 when he slipped to 15-40 and two match points down on serve, but the third seed found a fantastic drive-volley and a brilliant forehand down the line to get out of trouble.

Federer was clearly rattled and, moments later, three forehand errors left Djokovic serving for the match.

The Serb had to recover from 0-30 and fought off a break-back point with some aggressive play before finally earning a match point of his own, and watching as Federer made his 21st unforced error of the set to see his six-year run of finals come to an end.

"It was just a big pleasure playing in this kind of match," said Djokovic after the three-hour 44-minute battle. "It's one of those matches you'll always remember in your career. I'm just so thrilled to be in the final."

I would have loved to play against him here

Federer on missing out on a Nadal final

He added: "To be honest I was just closing my eyes and hitting forehands as fast as I can on the match points.

"If it goes in, it goes in. If it goes out, you know, another loss to Federer in the US Open. I managed to come back. I was very lucky."

Federer admitted that he too had been looking forward to playing Nadal at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

"Now one point away from this happening, obviously it's a bit of disappointment. But just being there [in the final] and losing, that wouldn't have been nice either. Now we'll never know how it would have gone.

"I would have loved to play against him here. I mean, I did my hard yards the last six years making it to the finals, and he was unfortunately never there."

And the 29-year-old insisted he would be back fighting for major titles after falling before the final in each of the last three Grand Slams.

"It's a tough loss for me but it's only going to fuel me with more motivation to practice hard and get back to Grand Slam finals," said the Swiss.



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see also
Nadal reaches first US Open final
11 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Clijsters storms to third US Open
12 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open day 13 photos
11 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open quotes - day 13
12 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Live scores
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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