Novak Djokovic is unbeaten in 2011 and had only lost 10 sets all year going into his 2011 French Open Semi Final match against Roger Federer. After a tight first set that went to tiebreak, Djokovic completely collapsed in the second as he seemed unable to mentally compete with Federer as he lost 6-3. The Serb had 12 unforced errors to only three winners in the second set.
Djokovic has a huge hill to climb against Federer who has an incredible 174-0 record after winning first two sets in a majors tournament. Anyone who plays tennis knows what it feels like when your game completely falls apart and every shot becomes an adventure. That death spiral is a horrible feeling. Good players also know how to gather themselves mentally between sets or even during games and regain their confidence.
Djokovic did show some life late in the set after being down 4-1. Novak held serve in his last two service games and beat off several set-point opportunities. He then demonstrated better body language and effort in the final game won by Federer. Fans of the Serb hope that improvement can carryover to the third set.
Down two sets to love to the indomitable Roger, Djokovic will have to prove he's got the mental toughness to make a match of it. We head into the third set with the score 7-5, 6-3 with Federer holding a lead that will be difficult to overcome.
The Djokovic vs. Federer match is streaming live online at NBCSports.com and is on TV on NBC in some time zones.