A first victory over Djokovic since 2015
Rewind to Sunday and Dominic Thiem dismantled a misfiring Federer. The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s level jumped up several levels to then oust Matteo Berrettini in straight sets.
That meant Federer and Djokovic were placed in a shootout for a ticket into the semi-finals. The statistics from a performance like this don’t truly tell the tale, but the 38-year-old only lost three points on serve.
Federer could sense his opponent was struggling, off his ruthless usual self, pouncing with piercing shots and lethal accuracy to stamp 6-4, 6-3 onto the scoreboard.
A first victory over Djokovic since 2015 evidently meant a lot to the fan favourite, launching into the air with an abundance of air time.
“There is a lot that goes into a match like this. I spoke at length to the team before, probably over an hour 15 about all the different possibilities about what can happen,” revealed Federer.
“I felt from the get-go I had good rhythm off the baseline and on the serve and that I felt like he was living dangerously if he was not going to play great tennis. That was a good feeling to have, but then again, that doesn't mean much because Novak has done an unbelievable job in his career to find ways to either make you play bad or to just be better on you on the day or squeeze another victory out like the way he did at Wimbledon.
“Tonight was one of those nights where I was clear in the game plan. I got what I kind of expected, and it was a great feeling at the very end. The reaction showed.”