Former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero’s career was never the same after an illness, and Swiss Roger Federer seems to be on the same career arc. Federer contracted mono at the end of 2007, and has never been the same player since.
On Saturday Federer had another of what have been patented third- or fifth-set collapses in big matches, squandering a 3-1 break lead in the third set to lose 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the ATP Masters-Rome.
Federer’s poor serving was compounded by 42 unforced errors off the ground, with the Swiss converting only three of 11 break point chances over the three sets.
Djokovic trailer Federer 3-7 overall and 0-2 on clay during their careers entering the match.
Djokovic advances to the final where he will face the winner of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Chilean Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez.
Nadal has won 28 straight matches on clay dating to May 7 of last year when he lost to Ferrero in the second round here in Rome. Nadal beat Djokovic earlier this year at the beginning of the claycourt season in Monte Carlo.
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