Novak Djokovic booked his eighth Australian Open final appearance with a straight sets demolition job on Swiss legend Roger Federer in Melbourne this morning.
The Serbian ace, however, has been lauded for his post-match interview after the semi-final victory, which he took 7-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“Respect to Roger for coming out tonight, he was obviously hurt. He wasn’t at his best, close to his best in terms of movement. Respect for coming out and trying his best all the way through,” Djokovic stated after defeating Federer.
Federer went into the contest as an underdog after suffering a groin injury in his quarter-final victory over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday.
He had burst out of the blocks, leading 5-3 in the first set, but quickly succumb to a 7-1 tie-break defeat before losing the second and third sets easily.
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The win for Djokovic was his 27th over Federer in 50 matches, and re-affirmed his dominance of the Swiss legend in Melbourne with a fourth win from five over him Down Under.
Federer’s only win over the Serbian came in straight sets in the fourth-round back in 2007.
A good omen for Djokovic is that his other three victories over Federer in Melbourne have come in semi-finals in years he has claimed the title: 2008, 2011 and 2016.
With the win, Djokovic stretches his Grand Slam record over Federer to 11-6 and has won four Grand Slam finals against the Swiss to Federer’s solitary 2007 US Open final over the Serbian.
Both men were gunning for their eighth Australian Open final, with Federer stuck on six titles and Djokovic holding a record-breaking seven.
The Serbian has yet to lose in the final at Melbourne after overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008, Andy Murray in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016, as well as Rafael Nadal in 2012 and 2019.
Despite the impressive win over Federer, Djokovic’s class shown through after the match was done, with plenty of tennis fans praising him for his honest interview, and admitting that it wasn’t a 100% opponent this time around.
He will face the winner of the other semi-final Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev who will clash on Friday.