Roger Federer ends Djokovic's 28-match China streak
SHANGHAI (AP):It took a "perfect match" by Roger Federer for Novak Djokovic's 28-match winning streak in China to come to an end.
In their first match since Djokovic edged Federer to capture his seventh Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, the Swiss star exacted a measure of revenge with a commanding victory in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters yesterday.
Federer broke Djokovic twice to defeat the Serb 6-4, 6-4 and halt his impressive streak dating back to 2010. During that stretch, Djokovic captured the China Open in Beijing three times and the Shanghai Masters twice.
"He played a perfect match," Djokovic said. "Tonight is definitely one of the best matches he has played against me, that's for sure."
Federer also ended Djokovic's 43-match overall win streak to start the 2011 season when he beat him in the French Open semi-finals that year.
"I look forward to the big occasions," Federer said. "Doesn't matter where it is in the world because there's always a lot on the line, it's a good story. It was the same again tonight."
Federer nearly didn't even make it past his opening match this week. The 17-time major winner was almost out of the tournament when he was forced to save five match points before beating Leonardo Mayer in a three-setter that ended well after midnight.
Now he's into the final with a chance to win his first title in Shanghai - and fourth of the year - against Frenchman Gilles Simon today.
In their last match in the Wimbledon final this summer, Djokovic and Federer battled for five gruelling, momentum-shifting sets before the Serb finally finished it off in four hours to capture his seventh Grand Slam title.
Their 36th career meeting in Shanghai wasn't nearly as close.
Federer relentlessly charged the net and volleyed with precision, winning 20 of his 35 forays. He also served strongly, hitting four aces in a row to win one game in the first set and fighting off the only break point he faced.