Djokovic vs. Federer, a Rivalry for the Ages, Is One-Sided This Time

Written by on January 30, 2020

MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic continued his run of Grand Slam success towards Roger Federer, and this time there was little suspense.

Within the Wimbledon remaining final 12 months, Djokovic needed to save two match factors and fend off assault after assault within the fifth set earlier than prevailing in one of the best matches of the 2010s.

However Djokovic didn’t drop a set within the semifinals of the Australian Open on Thursday night time, securing a spot within the remaining with a 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-Three victory over Federer.

Djokovic has by no means misplaced a remaining in Melbourne, profitable a file seven Australian Open singles titles.

Ranked No. 2, he can reclaim the No. 1 spot from Rafael Nadal by profitable his eighth title on Sunday. He’ll face the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between two members of tennis’s subsequent wave: Dominic Thiem, 26, and Alexander Zverev, 22.

However Thursday night time was all concerning the previous guard, because the solar set after a day when the temperature spiked to 104 levels Fahrenheit (40 Celsius).

This was the 50th singles match between Djokovic, 32, and Federer, 38. Federer has gained his share of best-of-three-set matches in recent times, most not too long ago on the ATP Finals in November, however he has not overwhelmed Djokovic in a best-of-five-set match or Grand Slam event for the reason that 2012 Wimbledon semifinals.

He rested as an alternative of working towards on Wednesday and sought medical therapy, however as soon as on courtroom, he sprinted from the gates, ripping winners and timing the ball superbly simply off the bounce.

Djokovic grimaced and gesticulated because the photographs flew by. However he has been on a roll in Australia up to now this 12 months, main Serbia to the ATP Cup title and rolling by means of his draw on the Australian Open.

This match turned for good with Djokovic down 1-Four and 0-40 on his serve within the first set as he escaped hassle. He went on to win the 62-minute set by dominating the tiebreaker.

“I simply need to say respect to Roger for popping out tonight,” Djokovic stated. “He clearly was damage and wasn’t shut, even near his finest by way of motion. Respect for popping out and attempting his finest right through.”

There have been nonetheless shouts of “Roger!” and “Nole!” after that first set, nonetheless some thrives from Federer, together with a lunging backhand stab-volley, drop-shot winner.

However Djokovic was too fast, too regular and too versatile, and he ran out the victory. He now holds a 27-23 edge over Federer and will likely be in place on Sunday to shut the hole along with his longtime rival in Grand Slam singles titles.

Federer has 20, a males’s file. Djokovic has 16.

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