Djokovic–Federer rivalry

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Djokovic and Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The Federer–Djokovic rivalry is a tennis rivalry between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. They faced each other 38 times (plus one Federer Walkover), with Federer leading 20–18. 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, including Grand Slam play, making it the most competitive and evenly-matched rivalry in the Open Era. Due to this factor, some observers consider the Federer–Djokovic rivalry to be the greatest rivalry in the history of professional tennis.[1] 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. Both men accomplished this after having beaten each other at Wimbledon.

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 four 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.[2][3][4]

They have been continuously ranked as the two best players in the world since October 2014.

History[edit]

Australian Open[edit]

Novak Djokovic went on to win the 2011 Australian Open after beating Roger Federer in the semifinals.

Djokovic and Federer have played three times at the Australian Open, with Djokovic winning twice and Federer winning once. The first time they met at a major was in the fourth round of the 2007 Australian Open, where Federer won in straight sets. Federer went on to win without losing a set in the tournament to claim his tenth Grand Slam title.[5] The next year, they met in a rematch at the 2008 Australian Open semifinals, where Djokovic won in straight sets to reach his second Grand Slam final.[6] It was the first time in nearly 4 years that someone defeated Federer in straight sets at a Grand Slam. Djokovic proceeded to win his first career major over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.[7]

Three years later they met again in the semifinals of the 2011 Australian Open. The match was highly competitive, lasting for three hours despite being a straight sets match. Djokovic took the first set in a tight tiebreaker. In the second set, Federer held a substantial lead before Djokovic made a comeback, winning multiple games in a row to claim the set. Djokovic won after closing out the match in the third set.[8] Following a similar pattern alike 2007 and 2008, the winner of the match went on to win the tournament. Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the final to win his second Australian Open title.[9]

Federer put an end to Djokovic's 43-match win streak in a memorable semifinal at the 2011 French Open.

French Open[edit]

The pair have two meetings at Roland Garros thus far with both occurring at the semifinal stage. The first was at the 2011 French Open. Djokovic entered the tournament with a 43-match winning streak and was the sensation of the season. In the match, Federer won the opening set in a tiebreak and then claimed the second set to gain a substantial lead. Djokovic took the third set and was serving for the fourth set, but Federer came back to win it in a tiebreak closing out the match in four sets. The win ended Djokovic's winning streak as well as his 41–0 start to the 2011 season.[10] As a result, Federer advanced to his fifth French Open final.[11]

Federer's win also saved John McEnroe's record of 42 consecutive match wins to start the 1984 season.[12] The victory further elevated Federer's head-to-head record against Djokovic to 14–9 and 3–1 on clay. In a rematch, Federer and Djokovic met again in another French Open semifinal in 2012 which saw Djokovic prevail in straights sets[13] and even up their clay record at 3–3. With the win, Djokovic advanced to his first French Open final.[14] Both times, the winner of the semifinal went on to lose the final to Rafael Nadal in four sets.[15][16]

Wimbledon[edit]

Federer during the 2007 US Open final where he defeated Djokovic to win the twelfth Major of his career.

Djokovic and Federer met in the semifinals of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, with Federer winning in four sets to advance to his eighth Wimbledon final.[17] With the win, Federer also became the first player to defeat Djokovic at all four of the Majors. Federer then won the final over Andy Murray to win his seventh Wimbledon title, reclaiming the world number 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic as a result. As such, Federer subsequently broke Pete Sampras' record of 286 weeks of being ranked as the world number 1.[18]

In a Wimbledon rematch, Djokovic defeated Federer in the final of the Championships in 2014. It was the first Wimbledon final played between the two and was their second meeting in a Major final. At 3 hours and 56 minutes the match was also their longest encounter. It was a highly epic contest, with Federer winning the first set and Djokovic winning the next two. Federer saved a championship point in the fourth set before he came back to force a fifth set. Djokovic hung on to win it for his second Wimbledon title.[19] With the win, Djokovic prevented Federer from breaking Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles. Djokovic further became the first man to defeat Federer in all four of the Grand Slams.

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. Djokovic began strongly in the final and broke Federer in the eleventh game of the first set. With Djokovic serving for the set, Federer saved five set points to come back and claim the first set in a tiebreak. Djokovic quickly gained a break lead in the second set, but was unable to serve it out as Federer came back again, saving two set points to force the set to a tiebreak which he claimed as well. In the third set, Federer was able to stay ahead on serve. He closed out the match in the tenth game by breaking Djokovic's serve to win the contest in straight sets.[20]

The two subsequently played each other for five consecutive years at the US Open. After the first meeting that took place in the final, the next four meetings all occurred in the semifinals. The next year in 2008, Federer again defeated Djokovic in a four-set semifinal[21] on his way to winning the US Open for the fifth straight time.[22] The 2009 semifinal was of particular consequence as Federer won the match in straight sets, hitting his between-the-legs shot tweener to set up match point. It was Federer's 40th straight win at the venue as he advanced to his sixth straight US Open final.[23]

Their next two meetings at the tournament in 2010 and 2011 were five-set matches. Both were won by Djokovic and on both occasions he saved two match points. In the fifth set of the 2010 semifinal, Federer lead 5–4 and had two match points on Djokovic's serve but couldn't convert them. Djokovic held, broke Federer's serve, and then held again to win the match 7–5. Djokovic was in disbelief that he'd won, putting an end to Federer's run of six straight US Open finals. "To be honest, I was just closing my eyes and hitting forehands as fast as I can on match point. If it goes in, it goes in. If it goes out, just another loss to Federer in the US Open," Djokovic stated. "It was just a couple of points that decided the match. I managed to come back. I was very lucky."[24][25]

In the 2011 semifinal, Federer started the match strongly as he took the opening set in a tiebreak and won the second set comfortably. Djokovic won the next set, and claimed the fourth set as well to come back and force the match into a deciding fifth set. Federer recovered to gain a 5–3 lead and had two match points on his own serve. Djokovic saved the first match point with a return winner and went on to win four games in a row to win the match once again by the same score of 7–5 in the fifth. "Sure, it's disappointing, but I have only myself to blame," said Federer. "I set it all up perfect, but I couldn't finish it. It was a tough year in terms of some tough losses at some crucial stages of the season but look, it's not the first time it's happened."[26] Both years, Djokovic went on to play Rafael Nadal in the final, losing to him in 2010[27] before defeating him in 2011 to win his first US Open title.[28]

Djokovic won the 2010 and 2011 semifinals of the US Open against Federer. He won the 2011 US Open.

Comparison of Grand Slam titles[edit]

As of April 2015, Roger Federer has 17 Major titles and Novak Djokovic has 8.

Tournament Djokovic Federer
Australia Australian Open 5 4
France French Open 0 1
United Kingdom Wimbledon Championships 2 7
United States US Open 1 5
Total Count 8 17

ATP World Tour Finals[edit]

The pair have met three times so far at the ATP World Tour Finals. Federer defeated Djokovic soundly in the 2010 semifinals[29] on the way to winning his fifth title at the Year-End Championships.[30] In 2012, Federer and Djokovic were drawn into opposite groups again where Djokovic went 3–0 and Federer went 2–1. After winning their semifinal matches, they met in the final where Djokovic beat Federer to go 5–0 and win the tournament for the second time in his career.[31]

Since the Tennis Masters Cup in 2007, Federer and Djokovic have been drawn into opposing groups at every Year-End Championships except one. The 2013 edition saw the pair drawn to play each other in the same group for the first and only time in their careers. Djokovic defeated Federer in the round-robin[32] before going on to win over Rafael Nadal in the final for his third ATP World Tour Finals title.[33]

In 2014, Federer and Djokovic both went 3–0 in their respective groups. They were scheduled to meet in the final but Federer was forced to withdraw due to a back injury after he had won a grueling semifinal against Stanislas Wawrinka. Djokovic received his fourth title at the ATP World Tour Finals with a walkover. It was the first time in the history of the Year-End Championships that no final match was contested.[34]

Masters 1000[edit]

Federer and Djokovic have also met sixteen times in Masters 1000 tournaments, with eleven of the meetings taking place on hard court and five on clay. Federer and Djokovic have met in every Masters 1000 on hard court: Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Cincinnati, Shanghai, and Paris. On clay, they've met in Monte Carlo and Rome, but have never played each other in Madrid. The majority of their matches have taken place at the semifinal stage with ten meetings, while only five of their Masters 1000 meetings have been in a final. Their first ever career meeting came in 2006 in the first round of Monte Carlo where Federer defeated Djokovic in three sets.[35] Since then, they have played each other in a Masters 1000 tournament at least once per year to date.

Federer has beaten Djokovic twice in Cincinnati finals, allowing the serb only 6 games in both encounters. The first final in 2009 saw Federer win with a comfortable score of 6-1 7-5, and the second encounter in 2012 saw Federer utterly dominate the first set 6-0 and clinch the second set 7-6. the denying him the chance to become the first man to win all of the available Masters 1000 tournaments. As of 2014, Cincinnati is the only Masters 1000 tournament that Djokovic has yet to win. Likewise, Djokovic defeated Federer once in the Montreal final[36]—the only hard court Masters 1000 tournament that Federer has yet to win. Djokovic has also beaten Federer twice in Rome which is another tournament that Federer has never won. In addition to Montreal and Rome, Federer has never won Monte Carlo but has defeated Djokovic there in 2006,[35] 2008,[37] and 2014.[38]

Federer and Djokovic met in the semifinals of Miami in 2009. Federer won the opening set but lost the second set. Federer fell behind 0-2 in the third set and then proceeded to smash his racquet after netting another forehand. It was the first time in seven years that Federer had destroyed a racquet.[39] The crowd got behind Federer but Djokovic went on to win and advance to the final where he lost to Andy Murray.[40] After Miami, Federer spoke about his recent drop of form, "It was unfortunate but thank God the hard court season is over. I don't care any more. I'm moving over to clay, a new chapter."[41] Federer again lost to Djokovic in three sets in Rome[42] but recovered his form in Madrid[43] and went on to win the French Open.[44] Later in the year when the hard court season began again, they met in their first Cincinnati final where Federer defeated Djokovic in straight sets to win Cincinnati for a third time.[45]

In 2010, Federer beat Djokovic in the Toronto semifinals in their longest Masters 1000 encounter to date,[46] but went on to lose the final to Andy Murray.[47] Later in the year, Federer beat Djokovic again in the Shanghai semifinals[48] but lost the final to Andy Murray in similar fashion, missing his chance to win his first title in Shanghai.[49] In 2011, Djokovic and Federer met in the semis of Indian Wells where Djokovic won in three sets[50] and went on to win the title over Rafael Nadal.[51] In 2012, Djokovic beat Federer in the Rome semifinals[52] but lost the final to Nadal.[53] They met again in the Cincinnati final where Federer beat Djokovic in straight sets. Federer won Cincinnati for the fifth time and it was the first bagel set in the rivalry which saw Djokovic's record in Cincinnati finals fall to 0–4.[54]

They next met again in the Paris Bercy semifinals in 2013 where Djokovic beat Federer[55] on route to winning the title over David Ferrer.[56] In 2014, Djokovic defeated Federer again in an Indian Wells rematch, this time in the final in a third set tiebreak. Federer was down a break in the third set and made a comeback, but Djokovic hung on to win it in a tiebreaker.[57] Later in the year Federer played a flawless match against Djokovic in the Shanghai semifinals and beat him in straight sets. Federer's win put an end to Djokovic's 28-match streak of winning matches played in China that began at the China Open in 2012 and lasted for just over two years.[58] This time, Federer went on to win his first title in Shanghai as he defeated Gilles Simon in the final.[59]

Federer and Djokovic at the Toronto Masters in 2010, moments before their longest Masters 1000 encounter. Federer went on to win in three sets.

Comparison of Masters 1000 titles[edit]

As of April 2015, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both have 23 Masters 1000 titles.

Tournament Djokovic Federer
United States Indian Wells 4 4
United States Miami 5 2
Monaco Monte Carlo 2 0
Germany Hamburg [A] 0 4
Spain Madrid [B] 1 3
Italy Rome 3 0
Canada Montreal 2 0
Canada Toronto 1 2
United States Cincinnati 0 6
China Shanghai 2 1
France Paris 3 1
Total Count 23 23
Notes

A Hamburg was downgraded in 2009 and is no longer a Masters 1000. Federer had won Hamburg four times prior, while Djokovic had never won Hamburg and thus will always be at zero.
B Federer's Madrid titles; one came on hard court in 2006, one came on red clay in 2009, and the most recent one came on blue clay in 2012. Djokovic's Madrid title came on red clay in 2011.

Analysis[edit]

Hard court[edit]

Djokovic's favorite and most successful surface is hard court where he has 38 titles, including a record five Australian Open wins.

The two most commonly meet on hard courts with 29 of their 38 matches taking place on the surface. Federer currently leads the head-to-head 15–14 on hard courts. The two are tied 4–4 in hard court Grand Slams, with Federer holding a 3–2 advantage at the US Open and Djokovic leading 2–1 at the Australian Open. To date Federer and Djokovic have only played one Grand Slam final on hard court against each other in their careers, due to being drawn to meet in the semifinals more often than not. They met in four straight US Open semifinals from 2008 to 2011. They also met in two semifinals in Australia, one in 2008 and another in 2011.

Hard court is widely considered to be Djokovic's best surface with Djokovic himself stating that it's his most successful and preferred surface.[60] Their first seven Grand Slam meetings took place on hard court in either the Australian Open or US Open, before finally meeting at the French Open in 2011. Statistically Federer is also one of the best hard court players ever. He has the most hard court titles of all time with 57, while Djokovic is fourth all-time with 38 titles. On 2 February 2015, Federer and Djokovic were tied with an 83% hard court win percentage—the best of all time. Both players, along with Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl, are the only four men in tennis history to have winning percentages above 82% on hard court.[61]

Up to 2014, Federer and Djokovic were tied with Andre Agassi for the most Australian Open titles at four each which was an Open Era record. Djokovic broke the record at the 2015 Australian Open after winning the title for a fifth time in Melbourne.[62] Djokovic is undefeated in Australian Open finals with a 5–0 record while Federer has a respectable 4–1 record. At the US Open for a ten-year stretch from 2004 to 2013, either Federer or Djokovic had appeared in the final match. In US Open finals, Federer has a 5–1 record while Djokovic has not fared as well having a 1–4 record. Their finals appearance streak ended at the 2014 US Open when Djokovic lost to Kei Nishikori and Federer lost to Marin Cilic in the semifinals.[63]

Federer is the most prolific hard court player of the Open Era with a record 58 titles. He won five consecutive US Open tournaments from 2004 to 2008.

Their most recent meeting came on hard courts, in which Djokovic defeated Federer in three sets in Indian Wells 2015 final.

Early history at the Australian Open and US Open[edit]

In their first meeting at a major, Federer defeated Djokovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2007 on his way to winning the tournament.[64] In the North American hard court season, Djokovic and Federer met again in the Montreal final. Federer was serving for the first set but Djokovic saved six set points to come back and claim the set in a tiebreak. Federer responded by quickly winning the second set to draw level. The third set went to another tiebreak which Djokovic won to claim the match. It was Djokovic's first career win over Federer and it in turn prevented Federer from ever winning in Montreal.[36] Djokovic reflected after the win, "To win two tiebreaks against the world No. 1, probably the strongest player mentally on the tour, it's another achievement, it's another success so I'm really, really happy."[65]

As of 2014, Federer has not won the Canadian Open when it's been held in Montreal. Federer's loss in Montreal was also his first career loss in a US Open series final, but he responded by winning Cincinnati the next week.[66] Djokovic's win in Montreal solidified his number three ranking and allowed him to enter the US Open as the third seed. At the 2007 US Open, the strong play of both men continued as they met for a rematch in the final. Djokovic advanced to the first major final of his career where Federer defeated Djokovic in a memorable encounter. This time, it was Federer would come back to win the first set in a tiebreak. Federer saved a total of seven set points in both the first and second sets to go on and win the match in straight sets. The win saw Federer claim his fourth consecutive US Open title.[67]

Five months later they met in the semifinals of the 2008 Australian Open, where Djokovic defeated Federer in straight sets[6] and went on to win the first major of his career when he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.[7] Federer's loss at the time caused widespread shock and uproar, and Federer referred to having 'created a monster' due to the expectations from the media at the time that Federer must win everything. Federer commented after the loss, "I've created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament. But semis is still pretty good. Winning every other week, you know, lose a set and people say I'm playing bad."[68] The loss ended Federer's streak of ten straight appearances in Grand Slam finals which began at Wimbledon in 2005.[69] It was also Federer's first straight sets loss in any Grand Slam since Gustavo Kuerten beat him in the third round of the 2004 French Open.[70]

Clay court[edit]

Federer leads the head-to-head 4–3 on clay with six of their seven meetings taking place in semifinals. 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 still often an unpredictable encounter. They've split their two French Open semifinals with Federer winning in 2011[10] and Djokovic winning the rematch in 2012.[13] In addition, Federer has beaten Djokovic three times in Monte Carlo,[35][37][38] and Djokovic has beaten Federer twice in Rome.[42][52]

Of the three surfaces, clay is considered to be the least successful surface for both Federer and Djokovic, despite the fact that both players are highly proficient on clay as all-court players. Over the years, Federer and Djokovic have more often than not advanced deep into the important clay tournaments only to lose to Rafael Nadal. Federer and Djokovic have a combined record of just 7–27 against Nadal on clay. From 2005 to 2009, Federer was considered to be Nadal's only formidable opponent on clay. Nadal went undefeated on clay in 2010; and as of 2011, Djokovic has since become the main adversary for Nadal on the dirt. To date, Federer has beaten Nadal twice on clay and has 10 clay titles, while Djokovic has beaten Nadal five times on clay and has 10 clay titles.[71]

History at the French Open[edit]

Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open. Red clay is the least successful surface for both Federer and Djokovic.

During Rafael Nadal's ten-year run at the French Open from 2005 to 2014, both Federer and Djokovic are a combined 0–11 against the Spaniard at Roland Garros. Federer lost to Nadal in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011[15] winning four sets in the process, while Djokovic as well lost to Nadal in 2006,[72] 2007,[73] and 2008[74] without winning a single set.

From 2005 to 2008, Federer was Nadal's only considerable test at Roland Garros, as he was the only man at the time even capable of winning sets against Nadal on clay. Federer lost three close finals to Nadal on clay in 2006, winning a set in Monte Carlo,[75] another two sets in Rome,[76] and a fourth set at the French Open.[77] Federer lost his first French Open final to Nadal while Djokovic had also lost to Nadal earlier on in the quarterfinals.[72]

Federer beat Nadal in the Hamburg final in 2007, putting an end to Nadal's unprecedented 81-match winning streak on clay.[78] At the French Open, Nadal defeated Djokovic and Federer back-to-back in the semifinals[73] and final to win his third straight title at Roland Garros.[79] In 2008, Federer played a solid match against Nadal at Monte Carlo before Djokovic emerged as a force on clay as well. He pushed Nadal to three sets in the Hamburg semifinals and won his first clay set against Nadal.[80] Federer then lost the Hamburg title to Nadal in a close rematch.[81] The progress against Nadal was short-lived. At Roland Garros, Djokovic and Federer both soundly lost to Nadal for the third straight year which saw Nadal steamroll to his fourth French Open win without losing a set in the tournament.[82]

Djokovic won his second clay set against Nadal at Monte Carlo in 2009[83] and then pushed him even further to three match points in their epic semifinal in Madrid.[84] Although Djokovic lost that semifinal to Nadal, Federer defeat Nadal in the Madrid final for his second win over Nadal on clay which saw Nadal lose a clay final for just the second time in his career.[43] In 2010, Djokovic and Nadal never met on clay. Federer lost the Madrid title to Nadal in a rematch.[85] At the French Open, both Federer and Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals and thus neither man advanced to face Rafael Nadal that year.[86][87] It was the only year that Nadal won Roland Garros without facing Djokovic or Federer. Djokovic later entered his prime and gained confidence upon winning the Davis Cup at the end of the year.[88]

In early 2011, Djokovic became the primary challenge for Nadal after beating him in Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back.[51][89] As the clay season began, Djokovic's winning streak continued as he beat Nadal for the first time on clay in Madrid, ending Nadal's second streak of 37 straight wins on clay.[90] As such, Djokovic became the second man in tennis history after Roger Federer to ever defeat Rafael Nadal in a clay final.[91] Djokovic beat Nadal again a week later in Rome.[92] Djokovic was a legitimate contender going into the 2011 French Open and was perceived by many tennis analysts as capable of dethroning Nadal.[93] Djokovic and Federer met in the semifinals, where Federer's win put an end to Djokovic's best opportunity to win the French Open.[10] Djokovic had been on a 43-match winning streak, including four straight wins over Rafael Nadal up to that point.[94] Federer's win also prevented Djokovic from winning the Calendar Grand Slam.[95]

Roger Federer won the French Open in 2009 and completed the Career Grand Slam[44] while Novak Djokovic has yet to win Roland Garros, losing to Nadal three more times in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Djokovic won his first French Open set against Rafael Nadal in 2012 and won another two sets in 2013. At the 2014 French Open, Djokovic equaled Federer's record of four sets won against Nadal at Roland Garros. The 2013 French Open semifinal is considered to be Djokovic's most devastating career loss, losing 9–7 in the fifth despite being up a break in the final set (when he ran into the net to get broken).[96] Federer's final in 2011[15] and Djokovic's semifinal in 2013 are the best efforts that each man has been able to give in their attempts to beat Nadal at Roland Garros.[97]

Grass court[edit]

History at Wimbledon[edit]

Federer's best surface is considered to be grass, on which he has a win percentage of 87%—the winningest in the Open Era.

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. Federer's first major came at Wimbledon where he is naturally comfortable playing on the grass.[98] Federer subsequently reached seven Wimbledon finals in a row from 2003 to 2009. Federer appeared in two more finals, one in 2012 and another in 2014 and has won seven of his nine finals. Federer is one of the most successful grass court players ever and many tennis analysts consider grass to be Federer's best surface.[99]

Federer has 14 titles on grass with seven at Halle and seven at Wimbledon. Djokovic has 2 grass titles thus far in his career with both of them coming at Wimbledon. Federer typically plays his warm-up tournament in Halle which precedes Wimbledon.[100] Djokovic has not played a warm-up tournament on grass since playing at Queen's Club in 2010 where he lost in the third round.[101] Prior to that, Djokovic played Halle in 2009 where he lost the final to Tommy Haas.[102] He also lost the Queen's Club final to Nadal in 2008, and thus he hasn't yet won a grass warm-up tournament in his career.[103] Djokovic's quest to win Roland Garros has become his main priority in recent years,[104][105] often leaving him too exhausted to partake in a warm-up tournament on grass. He instead prefers to rest before Wimbledon.[106]

Both Federer and Djokovic enjoy playing on faster surfaces such as grass, but Djokovic's movement has struggled on grass courts at times especially early on in his career. On the other hand, Federer's movement on grass was considered to be unparalleled in his prime years. Grass was Djokovic's least successful surface from 2005 to 2010. Since then, Djokovic's movement on grass has immensely improved in recent years which is a key factor that enabled him to appear in the Wimbledon final three times. He won in 2011 over Rafael Nadal[107] and again in 2014 over Roger Federer.[108] Djokovic lost the Wimbledon final in 2013 after he'd won a grueling semifinal against Juan Martín del Potro—the longest Wimbledon semifinal in history.[109]

Head-to-head tallies[edit]

Djokovic and Federer have played 38 times to date; Federer leads the total head-to-head count 20–18.

Results on each court surface[edit]

List of all matches[edit]

ATP, Davis Cup, and Grand Slam tournament main draw results included.[110]

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 8 8
ATP International Series Gold ATP World Tour 500 Series 2 4
ATP International Series ATP World Tour 250 Series 0 0
Davis Cup Davis Cup 0 1

Djokovic vs Federer head-to-head[edit]

Djokovic-Federer (18–20)

No. Year Tournament Series Surface Round Winner Score Length (H:MM) Djokovic Federer
1. 2006 Monaco Monte Carlo 1000 Clay R64 Federer 6–3, 2–6, 6–3 1:49 0 1
2. 2006 Switzerland Davis Cup DC Hard (i) WG Play-offs Federer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3 1:58 0 2
3. 2007 Australia Australian Open Major Hard R16 Federer 6–2, 7–5, 6–3 1:50 0 3
4. 2007 United Arab Emirates Dubai 500 Hard Quarter-final Federer 6–3, 6–7(6–8), 6–3 2:03 0 4
5. 2007 Canada Canada (Montreal) 1000 Hard Final Djokovic 7–6(7–2), 2–6, 7–6(7–2) 2:13 1 4
6. 2007 United States US Open Major Hard Final Federer 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–2), 6–4 2:24 1 5
7. 2008 Australia Australian Open Major Hard Semi-final Djokovic 7–5, 6–3, 7–6(7–5) 2:26 2 5
8. 2008 Monaco Monte Carlo 1000 Clay Semi-final Federer 6–3, 3–2 RET 1:12 2 6
9. 2008 United States US Open Major Hard Semi-final Federer 6–3, 5–7, 7–5, 6–2 2:44 2 7
10. 2009 United States Miami 1000 Hard Semi-final Djokovic 3–6, 6–2, 6–3 1:46 3 7
11. 2009 Italy Rome 1000 Clay Semi-final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–3 2:11 4 7
12. 2009 United States Cincinnati 1000 Hard Final Federer 6–1, 7–5 2:07 4 8
13. 2009 United States US Open Major Hard Semi-final Federer 7–6(7–3), 7–5, 7–5 2:34 4 9
14. 2009 Switzerland Basel 500 Hard (i) Final Djokovic 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 2:11 5 9
15. 2010 Canada Canada (Toronto) 1000 Hard Semi-final Federer 6–1, 3–6, 7–5 2:22 5 10
16. 2010 United States US Open Major Hard Semi-final Djokovic 5–7, 6–1, 5–7, 6–2, 7–5 3:44 6 10
17. 2010 China Shanghai 1000 Hard Semi-final Federer 7–5, 6–4 1:42 6 11
18. 2010 Switzerland Basel 500 Hard (i) Final Federer 6–4, 3–6, 6–1 1:55 6 12
19. 2010 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals YEC Hard (i) Semi-final Federer 6–1, 6–4 1:21 6 13
20. 2011 Australia Australian Open Major Hard Semi-final Djokovic 7–6(7–3), 7–5, 6–4 3:00 7 13
21. 2011 United Arab Emirates Dubai 500 Hard Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–3 1:12 8 13
22. 2011 United States Indian Wells 1000 Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–3, 3–6, 6–2 2:07 9 13
23. 2011 France French Open Major 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 Major Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–7(7–9), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 7–5 3:51 10 14
25. 2012 Italy Rome 1000 Clay Semi-final Djokovic 6–2, 7–6(7–4) 1:39 11 14
26. 2012 France French Open Major Clay Semi-final Djokovic 6–4, 7–5, 6–3 2:05 12 14
27. 2012 United Kingdom Wimbledon Major Grass Semi-final Federer 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3 2:19 12 15
28. 2012 United States Cincinnati 1000 Hard Final Federer 6–0, 7–6(9–7) 1:20 12 16
29. 2012 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals YEC Hard (i) Final Djokovic 7–6(8–6), 7–5 2:14 13 16
30. 2013 France Paris 1000 Hard (i) Semi-final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 2:00 14 16
31. 2013 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals YEC Hard (i) RR Djokovic 6–4, 6–7(2–7), 6–2 2:22 15 16
32. 2014 United Arab Emirates Dubai 500 Hard Semi-final Federer 3–6, 6–3, 6–2 1:45 15 17
33. 2014 United States Indian Wells 1000 Hard Final Djokovic 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–3) 2:12 16 17
34. 2014 Monaco Monte Carlo 1000 Clay Semi-final Federer 7–5, 6–2 1:15 16 18
35. 2014 United Kingdom Wimbledon Major Grass Final Djokovic 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4 3:56 17 18
36. 2014 China Shanghai 1000 Hard Semi-final Federer 6–4, 6–4 1:35 17 19
2014 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals YEC Hard (i) Final (Djokovic) w/o[111] N/A 17 19
37. 2015 United Arab Emirates Dubai 500 Hard Final Federer 6–3, 7–5 1:24 17 20
38. 2015 United States Indian Wells 1000 Hard Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–7(5–7), 6–2 2:17 18 20

Records[edit]

  • One of only two pairs in Open Era history to have played each other 12 times in Grand Slam tournaments (tied with Djokovic-Nadal)
  • Only pair in Open Era history to have met 9 times in Grand Slam semifinals
  • Only pair in Open Era history to have met 28 times on hard courts
  • Open Era record of 5 matches played against each other at the US Open (tied with the Lendl–McEnroe and the Connors–Lendl rivalries)
  • Open Era record of 5 consecutive matches played against each other at one Slam (at the US Open)

Exhibitions[edit]

Djokovic—Federer (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Djokovic Federer
1. 2011 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Hard Semi-final Djokovic 6–2, 6–1 [112] 1 0
2. 2014 India New Delhi Hard (i) RR Federer 6–5(6–5)1[113] 1 1

^Note 1 : Federer won the set, but according to IPTL rules Djokovic needed to win one more game for his team to officially win the match which he did and the game had no effect on the set that they played.

Performance timeline comparison[edit]

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 W
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 3R

ATP Rankings[edit]

Year-end ranking timeline[edit]

Player 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Serbia Novak Djokovic 679 186 78 16 3 3 3 3 1 1 2 1
Switzerland Roger Federer 301 64 29 13 6 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 6 2

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 four Grand Slam titles, a total of 22 singles titles, with a year-end ranking of 1. By comparison, Djokovic finished the 2010 season also aged 22 years old, having won a total of 1 grand slam title, 18 total singles titles, with a year end ranking of 3.

  • () = active record (updated Monday April 20, 2015)
Age (end of season) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Switzerland Federer's season 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Serbia Djokovic's season 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Grand Slam titles Federer 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 9 12 13 15 16 16 17 17 17 (17)
Djokovic 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 5 6 7 (8)
Grand Slam match wins Federer 0 7 20 26 39 61 85 112 138 162 188 208 228 247 260 279 (281)
Djokovic 5 14 33 51 66 85 110 134 158 180 (187)
Total titles Federer 0 0 1 4 11 22 33 45 53 57 61 66 70 76 77 82 (84)
Djokovic 0 2 7 11 16 18 28 34 41 48 (52)
Total match wins Federer 15 51 100 158 236 310 391 483 551 617 678 743 807 878 923 996 (1013)
Djokovic 13 53 121 185 263 324 394 469 543 604 (634)
Ranking Federer 64 29 13 6 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 6 2 (2)
Djokovic 78 16 3 3 3 3 1 1 2 1 (1)
Weeks at number 1 Federer 0 0 0 0 0 48 100 152 204 237 262 285 285 302 302 302 (302)
Djokovic 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 62 101 127 (143)

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 2015 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open Q1 3R 3R 4R 4R W SF W W W F W W W W SF W 9 / 16
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
Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 SR
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and ATP World Tour Finals
Indian Wells A Q1 1R 3R 2R W W W F W SF 4R W W SF W W 8 / 15
Miami 1R 2R QF F QF 3R W W W QF F 4R W W 4R W W 7 / 17
Monte Carlo 1R 1R QF 2R A A QF F F F F SF QF F W F 1 / 14
Rome A 1R 3R 1R F 2R A F QF W F QF W F F W 3 / 14
Madrid1 A 1R 1R W 3R W W 2R W F W F W W 3R A 7 / 14
Canada A 1R A 1R SF W A W W QF QF F W W SF F 5 / 13
Cincinnati A 1R A 1R 2R 1R W QF W F W W F W QF W 6 / 14
Shanghai2 A 2R 2R QF SF A A W F SF SF F A W W W 4 / 12
Paris A 1R 2R QF QF A 3R 2R 3R QF W SF W 2R W W 4 / 13
ATP Finals Did Not Qualify SF W W F W W W SF W W W W W 10 / 13

1 Held as Hamburg Masters (outdoor clay) until 2008, Madrid Masters (outdoor clay) 2009–present.
2 Held as Stuttgart Masters (indoor hard) until 2001, Madrid Masters (indoor hard) from 2002–08, and Shanghai Masters (outdoor hard) 2009–present.

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]