So much for Rafa vs. Roger in the U.S. Open final.
Novak Djokovic prevented what would have been the eighth Grand Slam championship match between tennis' top two men - and first such showdown at Flushing Meadows - by saving two match points and coming back to stun Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in Saturday's semifinals.
"One of those matches," Djokovic said, "you'll always remember in your career."
It means that the third-seeded Djokovic will be standing between No. 1 Rafael Nadal and a career Grand Slam in the final today. Nadal owns eight major titles but never had been past the semifinals at the U.S. Open before beating No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.
Federer had reached six consecutive finals at the U.S. Open, winning five trophies from 2004 to 2008, but he repeatedly let leads slip away this time. Federer took the first set against Djokovic, then the third. Even after Djokovic forced a fifth set, Federer twice was a point from winning.
With the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd trying to will Federer to victory, the owner of 16 Grand Slam titles couldn't seize his chances.