Pressure free Federer ready for final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:00
Four-time defending champion Federer beat third seed Novak Djokovic 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-2 to set up a final meeting on Monday with either sixth seed Andy Murray or new number one Rafael Nadal, whose semi-final was brought to a halt by the arrival of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Hanna.
“The pressure is off,” Federer said after dispatching Djokovic, who had beaten him in the Australian Open semi-finals at the start of the year. “I think now you can look forward and just try to win, really. Because I think the pressure is always on in the early rounds, coming through and not getting an upset early on.”
He added: “There was a couple of tough opponents early on, so I think once you get to the semis you can maybe play a little bit more freely again, because you’re also playing opponents who you know most likely have a better chance to beat you.
“You also know them better, so it’s easier to play against them, as well. I don’t feel like now I need to prove myself in the finals.”
Against Djokovic, the second seed finished with five breaks en route to capturing his 33rd consecutive win at Flushing Meadows, while the Swiss star also had 20 aces compared to six for Djokovic and edged the Serbian in winners with 51 to 43.
“I’m happy to be through to another Grand Slam final. I’ve been on an incredible run at slams lately, and this was a big match,” added Federer.
“I knew it from when I saw the draw. If we both get to the semis it was a huge match, he’s seeking the number two ranking a little bit. He’s been playing very well on hardcourt for the last one-and-a-half years.
“I knew it was always going to be difficult. I’m very happy with the result.”