Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to reach Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to reach Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic weathered an early blitz from Roger Federer to move into the Australian Open final and onto the cusp of a 17th Grand Slam title.

It was the fourth time Djokovic had beaten Federer at the semi-final stage in Melbourne after doing the same in 2008, 2011 and 2016.

In order for Federer to capture his third Australian Open championship in four years, that skid will need to end Thursday.

The Swiss failed to convert any of his three break point chances for a 5-1 double break first set lead, before he missed out on a chance to serve out for the opener in the ninth game.

The Serbian was in top form and won the match by 7-6 6-4 6-3 in the end after a frantic clash for the first set.

Two five-set battles back from the brink over John Millman and Tennys Sandgren - the latter in which he saved seven match points - had taken their toll.

The 32-year-old, victor of 16 Grand Slam titles, sealed his 27th win over Federer with his first match point when the Swiss found the net with a backhand for his 35th unforced error of the night. It was very important for me to win that first set.

That proved pivotal as Federer went on to lose the opening set, allowing Djokovic to seize control from then on. Nowadays they tell me, "Go speak to the umpire". I didn't practice. I took a day off the next day.

'It was probably not the best mindset from me at the begging of the match I was looking at how he was moving.

He was seen around Melbourne Park before the match with tape on his upper right leg and there were even rumours that he might pull out. I think I returned really well in the beginning. Nice entrance, nice sendoff, and in between is one to forget because you know you have a 3% chance to win. "Roger is Roger. You know that he's always going to play on such a high level, regardless of the surface".

"You never know what the future holds particularly at my age", he said.

One positive for Federer is that he does not think the problem will cause him long-term issues.

The next opportunity to gain that 21st title will be at Roland Garros in May, after he confirmed at the end of a year ago that he will be playing all four Grand Slams and the Olympics in Tokyo during his 2020 season.

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