Federer has won four of the last six times they have played. Three of them were in straight sets - all on the hard courts. Murray won his two in straight sets too - one grass one hard. Last match? Federer beats Murray in straight sets @ 2012 WTF semis.
Given all the factors in play from age to form to match up to Djokovic waiting in the finals to being battle tested to history between the two to what's at stake to Nadal's absence etc. it would be a massive let down if the match didn't produce a thriller. At least that's what Djokovic must be hoping for given the added time he has to recuperate from his six matches so far - including a five setter against Wawrinka.
Djokovic manufactured a statement game against Ferrer to put the two clowns on notice on how much they will need to be ready for the finals. Djokovic's stats against Ferrer were mind boggling despite Ferrer's record under similar conditions in the past:
1st serve points won: 91%.
Break points converted: 100% - 7/7.
16 unforced errors to 30 winners.
Not only was he NOT broken, he didn't even offer ONE opportunity.
Even though it may appear the scoreline was intended more for the next opponent, Djokovic DID need it far more desperately for HIMSELF - unless he was done with the faking already. The difference - in tangibles - separating the top three today is so minuscule that it may ALL boil to the intangibles in determining the winner. Djokovic may have gotten his with this last match, Murray may be hanging - by a thread (given the easy route) - to the fact that he is the only one to not drop a set and Federer may be leaning on having conquered some of the most dangerous fishes in the pond - comparatively - to have arrived having lost just two sets. Heck, just that he has a shot a being at yet another Slam final and possibly extend his Slam total to No. 18 must be thrilling considering all the factors like age, marriage, kids etc. hell bent on denying the pie.
Additionally, match up and how it plays out on a particular day based on current form released onto the court from players concerned may negate all that's happened so far. So there will be a razor thin line to be danced around, for at least three sets to allow someone to win this record breaking trophy. Djokovic will be setting a new record for most AO titles, Federer will hit No. 5 too along with No. 18 and Murray could validate his US Open title from the virus named fluke or Djokovic not in top form.
Imagine if Nadal was involved. How freaking crazy would that be? However, his absence will form part of the equation to push or pull on the remaining contenders similar to - at least to some degree - what was played out after Serena's early exit. Nadal is robbing us of a CERTAIN three-match combo that could surpass many if not ALL of such thrillers - in ANY order - forget in succession.
Time on Court stat HAS to come into play sooner than later for Federer, specially with the five set format AND the intensity he has had to sustain through the entire draw. And if Murray is able to make any significant inroad into that category, he may be able to anoint Djokovic the champion long before the actual collision. Either that or Murray could extend the encounter by taking it to five sets, test the new 'time between points' rule or do what he has failed to execute - backhand down the line shot - to exploit the open space generated after pinning Federer to his backhand - AND win it himself - on sheer endurance - to square off against Djokovic HIMSELF.
What Djokovic fears MOST is face an 'enough in the tank' Federer. That match up is far more intimidating than ANY Murray can bring - with ANYTHING - tank or truck. That therefore proves that the final will be far more entertaining from the purist's point of view with respect to shot making and other treats if Djokvoic and Federer face each other in the final. With Murray it will be more of a grind with most play happening NOT along the side or the base lines.