26. 01. 2012. ·
For the third time in the last four Grand Slam events Nole, Rafa, Roger and Andy have reached the semifinals.
Nole is now one victory shy of 400 match wins in his career (399-111 overall).
The top seed and defending champion will take on Andy Murray in the final four of the first Major tournament in 2012, in a repeat of last year’s title match (Nole won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3).
This will be Nole’s third Australian Open semi-final. Both times he reached this stage of the tournament, in 2008 and 2011, he lifted the winner’s trophy.
En route to the semi-final in Melbourne, Novak eliminated Lorenzi, Giraldo, Mahut, Hewitt and Ferrer, while Murray beat Harrison, Roger-Vasselin, Llodra, Kukushkin and Nishikori.
Both players have lost one set at the event so far, Andy has spent exactly 10 hours on court, eight minutes fewer than Nole.
They will meet for 11th time on Friday at 09.30 CET (19.30 local time).
A week younger Djokovic leads 6-4. Their H2H on hard courts is 4-4.
Looking ahead to the clash with Murray, Novak said: “He looks fit. He’s been playing well. He’s definitely, I think, very motivated to win his first Grand Slam title. He’s been proving to himself and to the rest of the people that the Australian Open is probably his best Grand Slam. But, on the other hand, I have been playing quite well here in the last couple years. We have to expect a great match. The tournament cannot ask for better matchups in semi-finals.”
“I’ve always liked playing against him,” Murray said of the Djokovic match-up. “After the year that he had, the (Australian Open) loss didn’t look so bad six months later. I’d like to get the chance to play him again. It would be a good marker to see how I’ve improved.”
Should Nole advance to the final on Sunday he will face no.2 seed Spaniard Rafael Nadal who edged his great rival no.3-ranked Swiss Roger Federer in four sets, 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the first semi-final on Thursday.
The world no.1 is bidding to become just the fifth man to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles in the Open Era joining Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and fourth to win the Australian Open three or more times.