Novak Djokovic stands one win away from capturing an eighth Australian Open crown, which will signal his return to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, after a victory over Roger Federer on Thursday.
Djokovic was relentless, once he recovered from 2-5 down in the first set, en route to beating six-time former champion Federer 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena.
“It could have definitely gone a different way if he’d used those breakpoints,” Djokovic told former World No. 1 and two-time former Australian Open winner, Jim Courier, in an on-court interview. “He got off to a good start and I was pretty nervous at the beginning.
“I have to say I respect Roger for coming out tonight. He was obviously hurt and not close to his best in terms of movement. It wasn’t the right mindset at the beginning, because I was watching him and how he was moving early on, rather than executing my own shots. I managed to dig my way back and win the first set, which was obviously mentally important.”
The 32-year-old Djokovic extended his winning streak in 2020 to 12-0 and will now prepare for Sunday’s final, where he’ll face fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem or seventh seed Alexander Zverev of Germany. Djokovic leads Thiem 6-4 in their ATP Head2Head series and has a 3-2 advantage over Zverev.
Djokovic is now 27-23 lifetime against Federer, having won all four of their semi-final clashes at Melbourne Park (also 2008, 2011 and 2016). Federer had won their last match 6-4, 6-3 in the round-robin stage of the Nitto ATP Finals in November 2019, but Djokovic improved to 8-0 in Australian Open semi-finals on Thursday night was a devastating performance.
Watch the highlights below:
source: ATP Tour
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