Roger Federer is the 11/10 outsider to triumph in the 2015 US Open final against world number one Novak Djokovic, who is the 8/11 favourite in what is their 42nd career meeting.
The Swiss legend hasn’t been able to add to his 17 Grand Slam titles in his last dozen participations, while his 2012 Wimbledon success was his only one in 22 major outings, but there are at least four reasons to believe that he is about to receive his reward for playing on to the age of 34:
He has been the player of the tournament
Federer had the tougher draw, facing three of the top-16 seeds to Djokovic’s one, and still came through it far more convincingly. The five-time US Open champion didn’t drop a single set, spilling three games or fewer in 12 of the 18 that he did complete, whereas his opponent conceded one to both Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez. The second best player after Federer at Flushing Meadows had been compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, who he thrashed 6-4 6-3 6-1 in the semi-finals.
He won the last showdown
Everything about the Federer versus Djokovic head-to-head is entrancing: the number of times that they have played, the latest seven clashes all being trophy deciders and how little there is separating them across their near-decade of duelling, with the former boasting the slenderest 21-20 lead. That advantage exists because he defeated the top seed 7-6 6-3 in the final at Cincinnati last month, in what was his third hard-court victory in four over the Serbian, all of them achieved in straight sets.
His US Open final record is far better
Federer has contested six US Open finals and won five, beating a who’s who of 21st-century greats in Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Djokovic and Andy Murray. Even the one that he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009 was a five-set classic, one of a mere two times this millennium that the finale in New York has gone the distance. By contrast, Djokovic has an almost opposite record of one final win in five attempts, getting this far and then folding in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Flushing Meadows does not respect odds
The US Open was arguably the most predictable of all majors when Federer was on top as he kept possession of the silverware for five years, yet since then it has been the most potent Grand Slam for upsets, as Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci highlighted earlier this week. Only twice in seven years has the men’s top seed prospered, with Djokovic failing to convert such a position in 2013 and 2014.
The pattern commenced with Del Potro shocking Federer in 2009, continued with Murray claiming his first Slam in 2012 and escalated with 14th seed Marin Cilic overcoming tenth seed Kei Nishikori last year after the pair had sent the top two home in the semi-finals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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