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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Bold denotes that a player won a Grand Slam tournament by defeating a fellow Big Four member in the final, Italics denotes that a player was runner-up to a fellow Big Four member at a Grand Slam tournament.