NEW YORK – After dominating their semifinals matches on Friday, No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Roger Federer will meet in the 2015 U.S. Open final on Sunday. Djokovic beat defending champion Marin Cilic 6–0, 6–1, 6–2 in just 85 minutes. Federer, meanwhile, ousted 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who he teamed up with in 2008 to claim an Olympic gold.
In a rematch of this year’s Wimbledon finals, Federer and Djokovic will face off for the 42nd time in their careers. Federer leads their head-to-head just barely, having won 21 matches to Djokovic’s 20
The upcoming final also means a rematch of their Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati, which Federer won in straight sets over Djokovic. They’ll be facing in their fourth major final, with Djokovic winning twice at Wimbledon over the last two years and Federer winning the U.S. Open in 2007 (Djokovic’s first major final).
Federer, a father of four, is looking to claim his sixth U.S. Open (and first since 2008) against Djokovic, a father of one, who won the championship once in 2011. Federer can extend his historic number of major singles titles to 18 with a win while Novak can crack double digits should he be victorious.
In 2015 Djokovic leads their head-to-head 3-2, with victories at Wimbledon, Indian Wells and Rome. Their maiden match against one another? In 2006 at Monte Carlo, which Federer won.
"He's had a tremendous year," Federer said of Djokovic after beating his compatriot and Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka. "There's a lot on the line when we play each other. He's tough to beat. I like that challenge, and I'll be ready for it."
Djokovic has reached each major final this year, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He lost to Wawrinka in his third Roland Garros final. "Of course it's a great achievement, and I'm very proud of it," Djokovic said after he beat Cilic. "These are the tournaments where you want to perform your best."
"It's definitely very good, maybe my best," Federer said of his form. "I'm serving very well. I'm playing positive tennis. I'd love it to work just one more time this year."
Interestingly, to get to the final this year, Federer has spent less time overall on-court. In fact, he hasn’t dropped a set this tournament, while Djokovic has done so in two matches. Federer has spent nine hours and 48 minutes on court in his six matches while Djokovic has spent just under 13 hours. Unsurprisingly, Federer has needed only about 90 minutes per match on average, while Djokovic has used over two hours per match to advance.
Federer played higher-ranked players on average, beating seeded players No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 13 John Isner, No. 12 Richard Gasquet and No. 5 Wawrinka en route to the final. Meanwhile, Djokovic defeated No. 25 Andreas Seppi, No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 18 Feliciano Lopez No .9 Cilic.
“It's been more straightforward. That's what I like about the rivalry,” he said. “I don't know how it is for him, but I feel like he doesn't need to adjust his game as much, either. I think it's just a straight shootout, and I think that's the cool thing about our rivalry. It's very athletic.”
Said Djokovic, “Obviously I'm only thinking about winning and winning that U.S. Open trophy. It's why I'm here, and I will try to make it.”