Djokovic–Federer rivalry

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Djokovic and Federer at 2013 ATP World Tour Finals.

The Federer–Djokovic rivalry is a tennis rivalry between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. They have played each other 35 times, with Federer leading 18–17. This includes a record 12 Grand Slam matches (tied with Djokovic-Nadal), two of which were finals plus a record nine semifinals. Both players have beaten each other in each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

A notable aspect of the rivalry is their ability to beat each other on any given day regardless of surface, including Grand Slam play, making it the most evenly-matched rivalry in the Open Era. To date Federer is the only man to have beaten Djokovic in all four majors, and likewise Djokovic is the only man to have beaten Federer in all four majors.

Their matches often go the distance and showcase a marvelous yet unpredictable display of shot-making. In addition, neither man has beaten the other more than 4 times in a row, as the changes of playing surface that occur throughout the year often produce little effect on determining the winner of their matches. In most other rivalries the type of playing surface has a profound effect on the outcome of matches, but in this rivalry, any certain type of surface in most cases does not give a serious advantage to one player over the other.

In theory, Federer gains a marginally small advantage on faster surfaces, as Djokovic's retrieval ability is nullified somewhat, but so far their match results have been relatively even across hard, clay, and grass courts respectively. As such, they have contested many memorable matches over the years. Their 2010 and 2011 US Open and 2011 French Open semifinals along with the 2014 Wimbledon final are classified among the greatest matches in tennis history by the ATP.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

Australian Open[edit]

Djokovic won the 2010 and 2011 semifinal of the US Open over Federer

Djokovic and Federer have played three times at the Australian Open, with Djokovic winning twice and Federer winning once. The first time they met was at the 2007 Australian Open, where Federer won in straight sets. The next time they met was in the 2008 Australian Open semifinals, when Djokovic won in straight sets to reach his second Grand Slam final, and eventually winning his first title over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It was the first time that Federer was beaten in straight sets since losing to Gustavo Kuerten in the 2004 French Open. Three years later, in the 2011 Australian Open semifinals, Djokovic won once again in straight sets, and, alike in 2008, won the title, this time over Andy Murray. Djokovic took the first set in a tight tiebreaker. Federer held a substantial lead in the second set before surrendering the set and ultimately the match.

French Open[edit]

Federer broke Djokovic's 43 match winning streak in the semifinals of the 2011 French Open.

They have two meetings at Roland Garros thus far both at semi-final. The first occurred at the 2011 French Open. Djokovic entered the tournament with a 43-match winning streak and was the sensation of the 2011 season. Federer won in four close sets. Federer's win ended Djokovic's 43 match winning streak as well as his 41-0 start to the 2011 season.[4] This victory elevated Federer's head-to-head record against Djokovic to 14-9 and 3-1 on clay. The second was again at semi-final the next year but this time Djokovic won in straights sets 6–4, 7–5, 6–3.

Wimbledon[edit]

Federer during the 2007 US Open final against Djokovic; it was their first Grand Slam final meeting. The victory would mark Federer's 12th Grand Slam championship.

Federer and Djokovic met in the semifinals of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, with Federer winning 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3. With this win, Federer became the first player to defeat Djokovic at all four Grand Slams. Federer went on to beat Andy Murray in the final and, as a result, deposed Djokovic in the ATP world rankings. Djokovic defeated Federer in the final of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships in five sets 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4; it was the first Wimbledon final played between the two and their second Grand Slam final meeting overall. At 3 hours and 56 minutes the match was also their longest encounter.

US Open[edit]

The two players have played five times at the US Open with Federer leading 3–2. Djokovic played Federer in his first Major final at the 2007 US Open and lost in straight sets.[5] Djokovic was serving for the first set before ultimately getting broken and succumbing to Federer in the first set tiebreaker and the clutch moments of the second and third sets. This is the first time they have played in a Grand Slam final. The two have met five consecutive years at the US Open. Federer won the 2007 US Open final and the semifinals in 2008 and 2009. The 2009 semifinal was of particular consequence, as Federer won the match, hitting his famous between-the-legs shot to set up match point. Their last two meetings at the tournament in 2010 and 2011 were five-set matches and both were won by Djokovic, on both occasions saving two match points - in 2011, Djokovic was two sets down and Federer's match points were on his own serve. Both times, Djokovic went on to play Nadal in the final, losing to him in 2010 before defeating him in 2011.[2]

Analysis[edit]

Djokovic and Federer have played 35 times to date; Federer leads the total head-to-head count 18–17. They most commonly meet on hard courts with 26 of their 35 matches taking place on the surface. Hard court is widely considered to be Djokovic's best surface and is arguably Federer's best surface as well along with grass courts. They have split their 26 meetings at 13 wins apiece, including 4-4 in Grand Slams.

Due to the dominance of Rafael Nadal on clay, it's rare for Federer and Djokovic to encounter each other on the surface and they have yet to play a clay final between each other. When they do meet on clay, it's often a close encounter, having split the French Open semifinals in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Federer has beaten Djokovic three times in Monte Carlo, and Djokovic has beaten Federer twice in Rome. As such Federer leads 4-3 on clay with 6 of their 7 meetings taking place in semifinals.

On grass courts, they are tied 1-1 having met each other twice at Wimbledon -- once in the semifinals in 2012 that Federer won in four sets and again in the final of 2014 that Djokovic won in five sets.

Head-to-head tallies[edit]

Results on each court surface[edit]

List of all matches[edit]

ATP, Davis Cup, and Grand Slam tournament main draw results included.[6]

Legend (2004–2008) Legend (2009–present) Djokovic Federer
Grand Slam Grand Slam 6 6
Tennis Masters Cup ATP World Tour Finals 2 1
ATP Masters Series ATP World Tour Masters 1000 7 7
ATP International Series Gold ATP World Tour 500 Series 2 3
ATP International Series ATP World Tour 250 Series 0 0
Davis Cup Davis Cup 0 1

Singles[edit]

Djokovic-Federer (17-18)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Length (H:MM) Djokovic Federer
1. 2006 Monaco Monte Carlo Clay R64 Federer 6–3, 2–6, 6–3 1:49 0 1
2. 2006 Switzerland Davis Cup Hard (i) WG Play-offs Federer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3 1:58 0 2
3. 2007 Australia Australian Open Hard R16 Federer 6–2, 7–5, 6–3 1:50 0 3
4. 2007 United Arab Emirates Dubai Hard Quarter-final Federer 6–3, 6–7(6–8), 6–3 2:03 0 4
5. 2007 Canada Canada Hard Final Djokovic 7–6(7–2), 2–6, 7–6(7–2) 2:13 1 4
6. 2007 United States US Open Hard Final Federer 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–2), 6–4 2:24 1 5
7. 2008 Australia Australian Open Hard Semi-final Djokovic 7–5, 6–3, 7–6(7–5) 2:26 2 5
8. 2008 Monaco Monte Carlo Clay Semi-final Federer 6–3, 3–2 RET 1:12 2 6
9. 2008 United States US Open Hard Semi-final Federer 6–3, 5–7, 7–5, 6–2 2:44 2 7
10. 2009 United States Miami Hard Semi-final Djokovic 3–6, 6–2, 6–3 1:46 3 7
11. 2009 Italy Rome Clay Semi-final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–3 2:11 4 7
12. 2009 United States Cincinnati Hard Final Federer 6–1, 7–5 2:07 4 8
13. 2009 United States US Open Hard Semi-final Federer 7–6(7–3), 7–5, 7–5 2:34 4 9
14. 2009 Switzerland Basel Hard (i) Final Djokovic 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 2:11 5 9
15. 2010 Canada Canada Hard Semi-final Federer 6–1, 3–6, 7–5 2:22 5 10
16. 2010 United States US Open Hard Semi-final Djokovic 5–7, 6–1, 5–7, 6–2, 7–5 3:44 6 10
17. 2010 China Shanghai Hard Semi-final Federer 7–5, 6–4 1:42 6 11
18. 2010 Switzerland Basel Hard (i) Final Federer 6–4, 3–6, 6–1 1:55 6 12
19. 2010 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Hard (i) Semi-final Federer 6–1, 6–4 1:21 6 13
20. 2011 Australia Australian Open Hard Semi-final Djokovic 7–6(7–3), 7–5, 6–4 3:00 7 13
21. 2011 United Arab Emirates Dubai Hard Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–3 1:12 8 13
22. 2011 United States Indian Wells Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–3, 3–6, 6–2 2:07 9 13
23. 2011 France French Open Clay Semi-final Federer 7–6(7–5), 6–3, 3–6, 7–6(7–5) 3:39 9 14
24. 2011 United States US Open Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–7(7–9), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 7–5 3:51 10 14
25. 2012 Italy Rome Clay Semi-final Djokovic 6–2, 7–6(7–4) 1:39 11 14
26. 2012 France French Open Clay Semi-final Djokovic 6–4, 7–5, 6–3 2:05 12 14
27. 2012 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Semi-final Federer 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3 2:19 12 15
28. 2012 United States Cincinnati Hard Final Federer 6–0, 7–6(9–7) 1:20 12 16
29. 2012 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Hard (i) Final Djokovic 7–6(8–6), 7–5 2:14 13 16
30. 2013 France Paris Hard (i) Semi-final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 2:00 14 16
31. 2013 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Hard (i) RR Djokovic 6–4, 6–7(2–7), 6–2 2:22 15 16
32. 2014 United Arab Emirates Dubai Hard Semi-final Federer 3–6, 6–3, 6–2 1:45 15 17
33. 2014 United States Indian Wells Hard Final Djokovic 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–3) 2:12 16 17
34. 2014 Monaco Monte Carlo Clay Semi-final Federer 7–5, 6–2 1:15 16 18
35. 2014 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Final Djokovic 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7-6(7-4), 5-7, 6-4 3:56 17 18

Records[edit]

  • Tied with Djokovic-Nadal, at 12 are the only other pair in Open Era history to have played against each other 12 times in Grand Slam
  • Only pair in Open Era history to have met 9 times in Grand Slam semi finals
  • Record of 5 matches played against each other at the US Open (tied with the Lendl–McEnroe and the Connors–Lendl rivalries)
  • Record of 5 consecutive matches played against each other at one Slam (at the US Open)
  • This rivalry is ranked seventh in terms of matches played (shared with Federer–Nadal rivalry)

Exhibitions[edit]

Djokovic—Federer (1–0)[7]

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Djokovic Federer
1. 2011 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–2, 6–1 1 0

Performance timeline comparison (Grand Slam tournaments)[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR LQ (Q#) A P Z# PO SF-B F S G NMS NH

Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

  • Bold = players met during this tournament

By Year[edit]

2005–2010[edit]

Player 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic 1R 2R 3R 3R 1R QF 4R 3R 4R SF SF F W SF 2R SF QF 3R QF SF QF QF SF F
Switzerland Roger Federer SF SF W W W F W W W F W W SF F F W F W W F W QF QF SF

2011–2014[edit]

Player 2011 2012 2013 2014
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic W SF W W W F SF F W SF F F QF F W SF
Switzerland Roger Federer SF F QF SF SF SF W QF SF QF 2R 4R SF 4R F SF

By Age[edit]

18–22[edit]

Player 18 19 20 21 22
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic 1R 2R 3R 3R 1R QF 4R 3R 4R SF SF F W SF 2R SF QF 3R QF SF
Switzerland Roger Federer Q1 1R 1R Q2 3R 4R 1R 3R 3R QF QF 4R 4R 1R 1R 4R 4R 1R W 4R

23–27[edit]

Player 23 24 25 26 27
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic QF QF SF F W SF W W W F SF F W SF F F QF F W SF
Switzerland Roger Federer W 3R W W SF SF W W W F W W W F W W SF F F W

28–32[edit]

Player 28 29 30 31 32
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic
Switzerland Roger Federer F W W F W QF QF SF SF F QF SF SF SF W QF SF QF 2R 4R

33–37[edit]

Player 33 34 35 36 37
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic
Switzerland Roger Federer SF 4R F SF

Career evolution[edit]

Federer and Djokovic were born about six years apart. Federer's birthday is August 8, 1981, while Djokovic's is May 22, 1987. A different viewpoint of their career evolution is offered by taking the season they entered with an age of 17 as starting point. For instance in 2004, Federer started the season being 22 years old; at the end of that season, he accumulated a career record of four Grand Slam titles, a total of 22 singles titles and his final ranking was No. 1 at 23 years old.

  • () = active record (updated Monday July 7, 2014)
Age (end of season) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Switzerland Federer's season 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Serbia Djokovic's season 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Grand Slam titles Federer 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 9 12 13 15 16 16 17 17 (17)
Djokovic 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 5 6 (7)
Grand Slam match wins Federer 0 7 20 26 39 61 85 112 138 162 188 208 228 247 260 (274)
Djokovic 5 14 33 51 66 85 110 134 158 (175)
Total titles Federer 0 0 1 4 11 22 33 45 53 57 61 66 70 76 77 (78)
Djokovic 0 2 7 11 16 18 28 34 41 (45)
Total match wins Federer 15 51 100 158 236 310 391 483 551 617 678 743 807 878 923 (963)
Djokovic 13 53 121 185 263 324 394 469 543 (580)
Ranking Federer 64 29 13 6 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 6 (3)
Djokovic 78 16 3 3 3 3 1 1 2 (1)
Weeks at number 1 Federer 0 0 0 0 0 48 100 152 204 237 262 285 285 302 302 (302)
Djokovic 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 62 101 (102)

Combined singles performance timeline (best result)[edit]

Tournament 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open Q1 3R 3R 4R 4R W SF W W W F W W W W SF 8 / 15
French Open 1R 4R QF 1R 1R 3R SF F F F W QF F F SF F 1 / 16
Wimbledon 1R 1R QF 1R W W W W W F W SF W W F W 9 / 16
US Open Q2 3R 4R 4R 4R W W W W W F F W F F SF 6 / 15

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]