x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Federer's focus is on the final, not stopping Djokovic's unbeaten run

Roger Federer was the last man to beat Novak Djokovic on a tennis court, and he can be the next one as well.

PARIS // Roger Federer was the last man to beat Novak Djokovic on a tennis court, and he can be the next one as well.

The 16-time grand slam champion set up a delectable semi-final match against the second-seeded Serb by defeating Gael Monfils on Tuesday at the French Open. If he beats Djokovic tomorrow, it will end the two-time major champion's perfect season and 43-match winning streak.

"It's not the driving force behind this match, to be honest. For me, the plan is trying to get a step farther and into the finals of the French Open," said Federer, the 2009 champion at Roland Garros. "That's the big picture, and that's why I entered the French Open. It wasn't to stop Novak."

Federer has not dropped a set in five matches at this year's French Open. But against Djokovic, he will be facing the man who eliminated him from the past two majors at the semi-final stage.

He also will be up against a man who is 41-0 in 2011 and is enjoying a 43-match winning streak dating back to November 27, when Federer beat Djokovic at the ATP Finals in London.

With one more win, Djokovic can also assure himself of the No 1 ranking for the first time.

"I know he has a lot on the line, which we all know about," Federer said. "I have been there myself, before in 2004, when I was going for world No 1 against [Juan Carlos Ferrero] in Australia in the semis of a grand slam, as well."

The pair have met five times in the semi-finals of majors, with Djokovic winning three.

Said Federer: "A big question remains: 'How long can you keep it up?' I said it a couple weeks ago. It's just hard, day in and day out, to be asked the questions, 'How many more wins can you get?'

"You would just like to not talk about it. Just go out there and do it over and over again. I'm looking forward to the match."