It turns out he was only getting warmed up.
Djokovic upset world No. 1 Roger Federer 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-6 (2)
Sunday to win the $2.45 million Masters Series event, solidifying
himself as a serious contender to win the U.S. Open beginning later this month in New York.
"It's a dream come true to win such a strong tournament as this
and to win against probably the best player ever in the sport," Djokovic said.
It was third-seeded Djokovic's fourth tournament win this year
and his first win in five career matches against Federer, whose
16-match Rogers Cup winning streak ended. The Swiss star won the
tournament in 2004 and 2006, and sat out in 2005 with a foot
Federer described his loss to Djokovic as "insignificant" overall.
"The goal was to win Wimbledon," Federer said. "Done that. Then, try to stay No. 1 in the world. It would have helped to have won today but you can't have it all.
"Looking at the U.S. Open, and down the road, the Masters,
there's still a long way to go. I can't start being disappointed about just one match."
With wins over Andy Roddick and No. 2 Nadal in his previous
rounds, Djokovic also became the first player to beat the world's
top three players in the same tournament since Boris Becker
defeated No. 3 Michael Stich, No. 1 Pete Sampras and No. 2 Goran
Ivanisevic in succession in 1994 in Stockholm.
"It was very important at the start of the year to perform
well in the most important tournaments, the major ones, which I
did," Djokovic said. "I showed it again. I showed my quality and I
deserve to be here right now."
Federer broke Djokovic to finish off the second set but the
Serbian standout broke back to open the third. Federer rallied to
tie it at 4.
Djokovic took over in the tiebreaker, finishing off Federer with
a drop shot followed by a lob that fell inside the line. Federer's
attempted return through his legs struck the net and Djokovic fell
to his knees to celebrate.
Djokovic rose from No. 83 into the top 20 last year and has
continued to move up this season. He will return this week to the
No. 3 ranking, which he first took on July 9 but then surrendered
Federer remains tied with Becker for ninth with 49 career
Djokovic collected $400,000 for the win while Federer got
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.