Basel Flashback: Novak Djokovic ends Roger Federer’s run

Novak Djokovic conquered Basel in 2009 over Roger Federer

Roger Federer claimed his first Basel title in 2006, rattling off 19 wins at the home event between 2006 and 2009. After three straight titles, Roger lost the home crown in 2009, with Novak Djokovic beating him 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Thus, the Serb claimed his first title at the prestigious event, delivering Roger’s first defeat in front of the home fans since 2003! Federer and Djokovic met for the 14th time, and the Serb celebrated his fifth victory, the third of the season.

Novak debuted in the Basel main draw with a win over Andreas Beck. The young Serb delivered a double bagel versus Jan Hernych in the second round to find himself in the quarter-final. Djokovic had to work much harder against Stan Wawrinka and Radek Stepanek, producing escapes from the verge of defeat and advancing into his fifth ATP indoor final.

Roger faced seven break points in the opening four matches against Olivier Rochus, Andreas Seppi, Evgeny Korolev and Marco Chiudinelli. The home favorite never lost serve before a much tougher test against the 2nd seed. Roger served at 71%, insufficient to keep him safe against such a reliable returner.

He lost 38% of the points in his games and suffered four breaks from eight opportunities offered to Novak.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the 2009 Basel final.
On the other hand, the Serb played against 11 break chances, fending off nine and limiting the damage in his games.

Djokovic knew he had to take the fire off Roger’s shots and impose his strokes. He hit more winners and fewer unforced errors while staying in touch with Federer in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. Besides that, nothing separated them in the most extended exchanges with nine strokes or more.

Novak created the crucial difference in the mid-range rallies, outplaying Roger with a strong performance in the deciding set and ending his Basel streak. Both players served well in the encounter’s opening eight games before Novak drew first blood with a break for a 5-4 lead when Roger sent an easy forehand long.

The tenth game was one of the most extended ones Roger and Novak ever played, containing 11 deuces and five break points! Djokovic emerged at the top after Federer’s forehand error, securing the game after over 20 minutes and claiming the opening set.

Roger got broken at the beginning of the second set when his forehand found the net before pulling it back at 1-2 after a drop shot winner. The home star grabbed another break in game ten after Novak’s forehand error, taking the set 6-4 and sending the encounter into a decider.

Federer suffered a break in the opening game after a loose forehand, and Novak moved 3-0 up with another break that pushed him closer to the finish line. Serving at 4-1, Djokovic won five points in a row to repel three break chances and extend the gap.

Novak sealed the deal with a hold at 30 in game eight after Roger’s backhand mistake, lifting the trophy and becoming the first player to beat the home star in six years.

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