Nole is through to the Australian Open final!

Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic defeated six-time former titlist Roger Federer on Rod Laver Arena in the Australian Open semi-final on Thursday.

Novak recorded a 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3 win over the third-seeded Swiss in two hours and 18 minutes and is now leading 27-23 in their legendary ATP H2H rivalry.

Djokovic, who is bidding for a 17th Grand Slam title, recovered from 2-5 down in the first set to clinch it in a perfect tie-breaker. The world no.2 improved on serve and went on to dominate the second and third sets, breaking once in each to progress.

The 32-year-old Belgrade native has improved his perfect 2020 record to 12-0.

“It definitely could have gone different way. He started really well and I was pretty nervous in the beginning,” admitted Novak. “It wasn’t the right mindset from my side. I was looking more how he was moving, what he was doing, rather than executing my shots in the right way. It resulted being 1-4, 0-40 down. I managed to dig my way back, it was very important to win that first set. After that I relaxed a bit mentally and could swing through the ball a bit more. I tried to stay with him in the rally, move him around and not make too many unforced errors.”

Match statistics: aces (11-15), double faults (1-3), winners (31-46), unforced errors (18-35), total points won (113-93).

In Sunday’s final, Novak will face fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem (6-4 H2H record). The match is scheduled at 19:30 local time / 09:30 CET.

Djokovic has surrendered only one set en-route to the final. Should he go on to lift his eighth Melbourne crown, he will return to no.1 in ATP Rankings on February 3.

Photo: AP

Share post