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It is a well known fact that Novak Djokovic raises his game considerably as he progresses into the business end of tournaments. He would have to be on top of his game as he prepares to battle the determined and focused World No.2 Roger Federer in the semis of the 2012 ATP Rome Masters.
Nole has had a tremendous year so far and has already won the Aussie Open and the Miami Masters. After an unbelievable season last year, the Serb has not stopped and is still firing on all cylinders. With the commencing of the Rome Masters the clay turned red once again, normalcy has resumed and Djokovic comes into the tournament as the defending champion and top seed. The Serb has been going through a tumultuous time since learnt that his grandfather had passed away. He skipped his home ATP event - the Serbia Open, citing the same reason for it. Djokovic also said the same at Monte Carlo after being beaten by Rafael Nadal claiming he had 'no energy'. At the Madrid Masters, Djokovic looked wayward and was knocked out in the quarters by ‘close friend’ Janko Tipsarevic. In his second match here, Novak struggled initially against Juan Monaco to lose the first set but then recovered in the second to win 4-6,6-2,6-3. In the quarters he met Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who he overcame in two sets. His win-loss record at this year stands at 29-4.
Federer started of the year in at Doha where he pulled out of his semifinal clash against Jo-wilfried Tsonga due to injury. It was only the second time in his entire career that the Swiss had pulled out in the middle of an event. In the Australian Open, Federer was in scintillating form, but was undone in the semi-finals by a rampaging Nadal. Roger has continued to play well since and won his first ATP 1000 Masters tournament in almost half a year at Indian Wells, he also claimed another ATP title at Rotterdam before that. Federer has a 31-3 win-loss record this year which depicts his good form from the start of the season. At the recently concluded Madrid Masters, Roger came into the tournament as the third favorite and third ranked player in the world, but as fortune would have it, he came out of it as the winner and is now the World No.2. He beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the pre-quarter stage and then absolutely out-played home favorite Andreas Seppi to reach the semis.
Being the top dogs of tennis for a few years now, Djokovic and Federer have met a massive 24 times in the past. The Swiss Maestro holds a 14 to 10 lead in the overall count. On clay the two have met four times and they are tied at 2 each. However, last year the duo met 5 times and Djokovic won 4 out of them, losing only that 4 set semifinal at Roland Garros.
TennisEarth predicts this one to be a cracking match. Looking at the current form and confidence level of Federer though, we fancy Federer to scrape past Djokovic.
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