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Roger Federer on young Novak Djokovic: ‘He deserves hype’

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Novak Djokovic made a strong start to the 2007 season, claiming the title in Adelaide and scoring three victories at the Australian Open. Novak’s streak of eight wins was under a test in the fourth round when he met world no.

1, Roger Federer. The Swiss beat the Serb 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes at Rod Laver Arena for his third victory over Novak from as many encounters. Roger praised Novak and his game, saying the hype around the young gun is legitimate.

Federer had the upper hand in sets one and three and prevailed in the second to move into the quarter-final. Roger dropped 20 points in 15 service games, losing serve once and keeping the pressure on the young Serb. Novak gave away 45% of the points in his games and lost serve five times to end his journey in the last 16.

Federer fired 50 winners, and Djokovic stayed under 20, with a similar number of unforced errors. Roger had the upper hand in the shortest and more extended rallies, keeping everything under control and showing who was the world’s leading player.

Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Melbourne 2007.

Novak defended a break chance in the first set’s second game before Roger broke him at 2-1 after the youngster’s loose drop shot. The Swiss moved 5-2 up with a volley winner in game seven and closed the opener with a forehand winner on the return in the next one.

Struggling to impose his strokes, Novak fell 3-0 behind in the second set after Roger broke him in game two with a backhand winner. The Serb broke back in game seven and got to the positive side of the scoreboard. Returning at 6-5, Federer painted a return winner to secure a break and wrap up the set for a massive advantage.

Djokovic hit a loose forehand at 1-2 in the third set and wasted a break chance at 4-2, his last of the match. Serving at 5-3, Roger sealed the deal with an ace for a place in the quarter-final and his third victory over Novak.

“I’m delighted with how everything went tonight. Novak is an upcoming young player who has been making his mark for the past six months. Novak has played well since the start of the season, embracing a winning streak in Adelaide and Melbourne.

I wished for a good start, and I got it. I controlled the situation from start to finish, with one loose moment in the second set when I brought him back to 4-4. I got out of that one and played well in the closing stages. I could not ask for more from tonight’s match.

Novak has been playing well, and I could not underestimate him, just like Mikhail Youzhny in the previous round. I knew Novak would make it challenging at some point, which happened in the second set. I’m happy with my performance; there’s nothing I want to change ahead of my next rival.

Of course, I should have won the second set more easily after building the advantage. It was disappointing to miss that smash on a break point, as I made things more difficult. Still, the rest was more than fine. Novak deserves the hype around his game after some great results, especially here in Australia.

I was not impressed with his tennis in Monte Carlo last year, but he has improved since then,” Roger Federer said.

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