SHANGHAI: A feisty Roger Federer overcame Novak Djokovic in a gripping Shanghai Masters semi-final Saturday, ending the Serb’s incredible winning streak in China and his hopes of clinching a third successive title.
A brilliant attacking display from the 17-times Grand Slam winner, who served with aggression and spent much of his time at the net, unsettled the world number one for a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Djokovic, the reigning champion in Shanghai who clinched his fifth China Open title last week, was gunning for his 29th consecutive win on Chinese soil in his first match with Federer since their epic Wimbledon final.
Both players were looking to unnerve each other early on, with Djokovic attempting riskier ground strokes to counter Federer confronting him at the net.
Every point was greeted with exuberant cheers in Shanghai’s packed Qizhong Tennis Center, and the stadium erupted when Federer broke serve on his second break-point in the fifth game.
Djokovic saved the first break-point by finding a way past Federer — who was again at the net — but gave away his serve with a weak backhand slice moments later.