Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic collide Sunday for the Basel title. Today, playing in front of his hometown crowd Federer had little trouble dispatching Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-4.
“It’s always a lot of fun playing Andy Roddick,” Federer almost mockingly said after collecting his 20th win over the American. “We’ve played each other over 20 times in our career, but we hadn’t played each other a lot lately so I think that’s why we were both a bit unsure at the beginning how we were going to play.”
“I really got off to a good start and could play more freely than he did,” added Federer who broke Roddick four times. “I was able to get a read on his serve and just felt comfortable, even when I went down a break in the second set. At the end I really played good tennis so I’m very happy with the way it went today.”
While Federer cruised, Djokovic had to dig himself out of a first set hole against countryman Victor Troicki in the earlier semifinal. It was Troicki who served for the first set at 6-5, 40-0 but somehow was unable to convert any of his three set points.
Djokovic recovered to win eight of the next 12 games to take the match 7-6, 6-4.
“When I won the first set things were going my way and I felt I was in control,” the defending champion said. “We are professionals, when we step on the court we want to win, regardless of who is across the net. But it’s never easy to play a very good friend.”
Looking at the Federer-Djokovic showdown, Federer leads the head-to-head 11-6, but the two have split their last four meetings, and Djokovic’s earned the bigger of those wins.
Novak administered some pain to Federer beating the Swiss in front of his fans in the Basel last year. And the Serb delivered another blow knocking out Roger in that US Open thriller in September.
Djokovic has also been in form this fall posting a strong 19-2 record since the start of the US Open with his only losses coming to guys ranked ahead of him – Rafael Nadal at the US Open and Federer in Shanghai.
But Federer is quietly (if that’s possible) putting together a solid second half of 2010. Since his disappointing French Open/Wimbledons, Federer’s reached the finals in five of his last six events, winning last week in Stockholm and during the summer in Cincinnati.
“Novak’s playing great at the moment and we just played three really good matches in a row, in Shanghai, the US Open and in Toronto,” said Federer who’s on an 8-match win streak. “It’s going to come down probably to a couple of points here and there. I hope the spectators get behind me and that that’s going to make a difference this year.”
So with both guys playing some really good tennis – you can make a case for either as the best player this fall – it should be a great championship match. That said, playing at home I can’t see Federer losing to Novak in consecutive finals in Basel. That can’t happen.
I like Roger in straight sets.
The Valencia final will be an all-Spanish affair with David Ferrer against the surprising Marcel Granollers. Ferrer took out Robin Soderling 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 while Gronollers upset Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-4.
The Basel final will shown live on the Tennis Channel at 9am ET. Don’t forget if you are in the U.S. to move your clocks back an hour tonight!
SUNDAY BASEL SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs  D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
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