Top seed and five-time defending champion Novak Djokovic has put on another masterful performance at Australian Open 2016, breezing past 17-time major winner Roger Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 19 minutes to progress to his sixth final in nine years at Melbourne Park.
Novak now holds a 23-22 lead against the Swiss, and is ahead in their head-to-head rivalry for the first time.
The world no.1 was brilliant in the first two sets. He broke Federer’s serve twice in each, denying his rival a single break point opportunity, for a two-set lead in just 54 minutes.
Roger fought back to take the third set 6-3, but Nole stood strong. The 28-year-old Belgrade native made a crucial break in the eighth game of the fourth set and claimed victory in thrilling fashion with a service hold to love.
“I played unbelievable in the first two sets,” said Djokovic. “It was necessary against Roger, who was playing at a very high level during this tournament. I knew he would be aggressive. I came out with the right intensity and executed everything perfectly. The two-set lead was comforting, but it was a battle in the end. At the end of the day, it’s important that your convictions are stronger than your doubts.”
Match statistics: aces (10-5), double faults (1-1), winners (33-34), unforced errors (20-51), total points won (115-82).
Novak will look to win his sixth Australian Open title and 11th Grand Slam trophy when he faces second seed Andy Murray on Sunday at 19:30 local time (09:30 CET).
The Dunblane native prevailed over Milos Raonic (13) in five sets in the second semi-final.
It will be the 31st career meeting between the reigning world no.1 and no.2. Novak leads their H2H series 21-9. In last year’s final, Nole beat Andy 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0.
The Serb has been victorious in Melbourne in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
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