Flawless Federer is back
Roger Federer closes in on his 13th Grand Slam title after beating Djokovi. He faces Andy Murray in the US Open final on Monday.8 September 2008
NEW YORK -- Roger Federer said he felt welcome flashes of his former flawless form during a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic at the US Open on Saturday.
"I definitely had moments during today where I thought, 'This is how I would like to play every time,'" said the Swiss who reached his fifth consecutive final at Flushing Meadows. "So it was very nice actually, to get that feeling back."
The second seed fired 20 aces as Djokovic's bid to possibly take over number two from Federer fizzled, with the Swiss winning the match in a canter.
Djokovic went psychologically off the boil in the 10th game of the third set when a loud fan put him off his game, leaving the door open for the steely Federer to sweep to victory, his 160th at a Grand Slam.
"The way I played the first set was the key moment," said the Swiss who stands on 12 career Grant Slam trophys, two less than the all-time mark held by Pete Sampras.
"I had a feeling he was looking a little weary, a little bit tired. I think I broke his will as well when I got the third set and I think he let his head hang a little bit.
"I needed to just play really tough now, and maybe all of a sudden play my best again with the lead - I knew I could get it in four."
The Swiss revels in huge crowd support form the fickle New York public, who never took Djokovic to heart in the wake of his criticism of favourite son Andy Roddick in the previous round.
"I do get, you know, a lot of fan support," said Federer. "I don't count on it because I'm not American, but I feel a little bit New Yorker right now.
"It does feel great. I definitely appreciate the effort from the fans, supporting me and pushing me forward. I definitely feel it's helped me throughout this event."
Federer is playing in his first major final in a year after beating Djokovic in New York a year ago. "Of course I'm happy to be through to another Grand Slam final.
"I've been on an incredible run at slams lately, and this was a big match. I'm very happy with the result, obviously."
Meanwhile, Andy Murray stunned top seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 2-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a semi-final which took two days to complete, reaching his first Grand Slam final at the US Open on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Scot will play Federer on Monday in a delayed title match after torrential rain on Saturday.
Murray is the third British player to reach a Grand Slam final in the post-1968 Open Era.
[dpa / Expatica]