Former world No. 1 Roger Federer’s slide continued Friday at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami where the Swiss turned one of his once-patented drubbings into a racquet-smashing, mental meltdown.
Federer rolled over Novak Djokovic in the first set, but immediately let the Serb in the match to begin the second set, falling behind 0-2. Djokovic won the second, and ran out to a lead in the third that at one point had the level-headed Swiss smash his racquet to a mangled mess.
“Novak played bad at the beginning, and I finished worse than him,” said Federer, who in the second set and into the third lost seven straight games. “Today it is different just because there’s so much wind as well. Once you start feeling bad, it’s kind of tough to regroup.”
Djokovic said he wasn’t sure how aggressively to start the match, but found his footing.
“I had the biggest success against him on hardcourts, I knew that but I also knew that I was always starting matches against him quite impatiently and playing more aggressive than I needed to,” he said. “That was the scenario in the first set today. Even though I served really well I was quite nervous and making lots of unforced errors.”
Federer’s meltdown means the Swiss has yet to win a title in 2009.
In the final Djokovic will face Andy Murray, who defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s conqueror Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
Djokovic leads Murray 4-2 in their career head-to-head, but Murray won their last two meetings, both last year on hardcourts.
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