Defending champion Novak Djokovic on Thursday rallied past his arch-rival Roger Federer in straight sets 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Australian Open 2020.
With this victory, Djokovic continues his 100% semifinals record in Melbourne, winning 8 matches at this stage in as many matches.
During the course of three sets, the seven-time champion recorded fewer winners than his opponent. While Federer fired 46 winners, Djokovic managed to hit 31 winners. However, Serb committed only 18 unforced errors against Federer’s 31.
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Djokovic earned two breakpoints right from the off. However, Federer fended off the first one before denying the second one with a forehand cross-court winner. Federer also earned two break points at 15-40 in the next game. The Swiss struck on the first as he pulled off a passing backhand winner from the back of the court and get a 2-0 lead.
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Neither of the players had it easy on serves as Djokovic responded well in the next game to get on board and displayed why he is one of the best returners of the game.
The Serbian survived two break chances in his next service game but was unable to resist the third when he made a mess of his backhand at 1-3. This was the third consecutive break of the match with Djokovic losing 11 points on his serve in the last two games. The crowd was all behind Federer as he put on an aggressive show and soared to a 5-2 lead.
The reaction says it all.
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Federer’s level dropped drastically after he took the medical timeout following the first set loss. The games went with the serve till the ninth game when Federer was serving to stay in the set at 4-5. Djokovic pulled to the fourth gear as he broke the 38-year-old and clinch the second set 6-4 in just 39 minutes.
Federer was more aggressive of the two, blasting 26 winners to Djokovic’s 10 winners. However, it was the No.2 seed found his range and scraped Federer down, who committed 19 unforced errors against 11 from Novak.
The Serbian was all over his opponent as he broke Federer in the sixth game to get a 4-2 lead in the third set. He then served out the match after 2 hours and 15 minutes, winning the third set 6-3. With this victory, Novak Djokovic also records his 27th victory over Roger Federer in their 50 encounters.
He now awaits the winner between Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev at the 2020 Australian Open finals. The 16-time Grand Slam champion will seek for his record 8th title at the Melbourne Park. He also aims to narrow his gap against Rafael Nadal (19) and Roger Federer (20).
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