Roger Federer still haunted by Novak Djokovic defeat


Roger Federer has won the title here five times but when he played Fernando Verdasco in the third round on Saturday the 31-year-old Swiss recalled one of his less enjoyable memories. Last year, for the second US Open in succession, Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. On both occasions he had two match points.

It was the memory of last year's defeat, when Djokovic saved the first with a huge forehand return winner and Federer hit the net on the second, that came to the world No 1's mind as he served out for a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win.

"I thought it was a similar atmosphere, though I guess against Novak it was later in the day," Federer said. "Coming out during the day, when I walked on, it reminded me of the ovation I got from that particular match, and then when I got up to serve for it I think it was the same end as it was against Novak. I just tried to serve this one through. It doesn't matter whether you think about it or not. It was funny that I thought about it in a third-round match, but I'm happy that I survived it. I played a really good last game, so I'm happy."

Federer has not won the title here for four years, but the lightning-quick conditions suit his game perfectly. Having achieved his season's goal of regaining both the Wimbledon title and the world No 1 ranking, he is playing without pressure, which has shown in his three straight-sets victories.

Perhaps by way of striking a psychological blow against Andy Murray, who has yet to win a Grand Slam title, Federer said he felt "way less pressure" ever since he won his first major. "Before, when you're trying to break through, make your move, you realise it's so hard," Federer said. "You still have [Andre] Agassi, [Pete] Sampras, the older generation you saw from TV. Not so easy to come through that one. That's not even talking about your generation that also are pushing, trying to make their move.

"I remember I felt an awful lot of pressure because I was very talented and people always said: 'He's going to be the next No 1, the next Grand Slam champion, but it seems like there's something missing.' You're like: 'Yeah, I agree. I agree I could maybe make it, there is something missing, but I haven't figured it out yet.' So you do feel that pressure. You panic a little bit. It's not so simple at times.

"Today obviously everything you have achieved, nobody can take it away from you. By virtue of that, you are much more at peace with everything that goes on in your life."

Federer and Murray are seeded to meet in the semi-finals, but both have plenty of work to do before then. Federer next plays Mardy Fish, with the winner to face Tomas Berdych or Nicolas Almagro.

If Murray beats Raonic he will face either Marin Cilic, who beat him in the fourth round here three years ago, or Slovakia's Martin Klizan. Cilic, who is returning to form after a lean spell, beat Kei Nishikori in four sets, while Klizan followed up his win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga by beating another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower