The first set featured some of the best tennis of the tournament. Troicki, who captured his first career title in Moscow two weeks ago, started out strong, serving extremely well and matching Djokovic's power from the baseline. While he squandered a break point in his first return game, he didn't make the same mistake twice, passing Djokovic at the net with a backhand down the line winner to go up 6-5. He quickly won the next three points as well, but down a triple set point, Djokovic stepped up his level. Two blasting forehand winners and a drop-shot Troicki couldn't answer kept Djokovic in the set; a couple of unforced errors by Troicki sent it to the tiebreak. Troicki played a disappointing tiebreak, surrendering the set on two unforced forehand errors.
In the second set, Djokovic started to return better, but the overall quality of the match began to decline. Serving at 3-3, 15-30, Troicki stopped play to challenge a backhand he believed to have been wide. The decision proved to be costly, as the ball was indeed good and gave Djokovic double break point. Troicki managed to save those break points, along with another one, but didn't have an answer on the fourth. The Serbian No. 2 had his only break point of the second set in the following service game, but went for too much too soon and netted a hard-hit forehand. Two games later, Djokovic served out the match to love, 7-6(4), 6-4.
It was here in Basel, at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors 2001, that Andy Roddick and Roger Federer played each other for the very first time. Not counting today, they have since faced each other in 21 matches, and their head-to-head record reads 19-2, with the staggering advantage for Federer. Before their Semifinal, both players downplayed the stats. "Contrary to popular belief, I like playing Roger. It means I made it far in a tournament," Roddick said on Friday. For his part, Federer insisted, "Andy is much better than that head-to-head. He beat me in Miami  and almost did in Wimbledon last year, when I couldn't break him until the very last game." Being unable to read Roddick's serve, which earlier today Novak Djokovic called "the best on tour," is what most concerns Federer anytime he is slated to play the American, the Swiss went on to share.
Yet, today, the first opportunity to break Roddick's serve came quickly. Down 0-1, 30-40, the No. 4 seed got a bit unlucky: a huge first serve was called out, but Hawk-Eye showed it clipped the line. The point was replayed, only this time Roddick missed his first serve and Federer was able to take advantage of the second. The Swiss raced ahead to a 3-0 lead and had break points to make it 4-0, but couldn't get the return in play. In his next service game, Federer faced break points himself (the very first this week against the Swiss), but saved them at net with well-placed volleys. Up 5-2, Federer again broke Roddick's serve, this time with a winning forehand passing shot as the American rushed forward.
At the beginning of the second set, Federer experienced what he later called a "hick-up on serve," losing his first service game of the tournament after shanking a forehand. Roddick held his serve to extend the lead to 2-0, but at 3-2, a double fault set up triple break point for Federer. The American saved the first two, but lost the third on an error. The break was all that Federer needed to regain the momentum. He went on to hold his next couple of service games and, at 5-4, broke Roddick for the match. Match point was almost an exact replica of the first set point, with the final forehand passing shot landing in the deuce side corner to end the match, 6-2, 6-4.
Roddick later said he was happy with his return game and felt he was hitting the ball cleanly from the baseline. Serving, howeve,r made the difference today. Roddick had just four aces to Federer's 13, and, despite his self-described "hick-up," Federer only lost two points on his first serve.
Roddick's serve, on the other hand, proved to be less of a threat than usual. "He couldn't hit an ace for a very long time; that was a good sign for me," Federer recalled afterwards. In fact, the World No. 9 failed to hit a single ace the entire first set. Even more troublesome was that Roddick's second serve wasn't working as well either. "I served really badly today. My second serve was all over the place," he commented later. As a result, Roddick produced four double faults, three of which came in service games he lost. "Today I was out of rhythm and you just can't afford that against Roger."
Despite his loss today, which comes with the dubious honor of being only one of five players in the last 30 years to have registered 20 losses against one of his peers, Roddick leaves Basel on a positive note. "I feel better [about my game] leaving than I was coming in," he said. His semifinal showing puts him in an excellent position to qualify for the World Tour Finals for the eighth consecutive year.