Novak Djokovic edged past Roger Federer in a very lopsided win to play his 8th final of the coveted slam the Serb has won all seven times after booking the finals previously. The grueling battles against Millman, and Sandgren in the third round and quarterfinal have taken a toll on him as he was not on his usual gliding gear that intimidates almost everyone on the tour.
The ageless clearly plagued with the groin issue in his last game against Sandgren had already called for Medical timeouts in the quarters before coming from behind to pull off a miraculous win as he saved baffling seven match points to set 50th meeting with the Djoker. Federer hurt with the grueling sets of tennis at 38 couldn’t allow himself to enter the courts for practice on Wednesday.
Against a 7-time Champion in Melbourne, Federer who constructed a 5-2 lead in the opener looked good to humble his longtime nemesis for the first time at a slam meeting since 2012 blew the lead (as per his standards) by giving away five of the next six games to tormenting for a tie-break that slipped away from him 7-6 (1). Federer against an out of sorts elastic Serb was hugely disappointed; he lost the set despite netting 26 winners. It seemed that the three tie-break losses against Novak in the last year’s Wimbledon final were still floating in the mind of the Swiss.
With a drop shot winner and cruising return, the hardcourt master sealed the first. Djokovic was quick to set up and was in no mood to squander a set up lead in the mid-30s Celsius Melbourne.
Federer after taking a medical timeout, apparently for a bad-back – which consistently haunted him the last decade – went off court. Djokovic who meanwhile took to his booth also called for his trainer and took a tablet.
The Serb was able to convert a break point opportunity at 5-4 while attempting to return a drop shot; a roar followed the point as he joined his fans to silent the odds in the Rod Laver Arena. Another Djoker break came in the sixth game of the 3rd set as the Swiss once again succumbed to the greatest returner of all time despite having a 40-15 advantage on his serve.
Djokoivc who won the clash 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 will face Austrian Dominic Thiem in the final for record 8th Australian Open title and slam number 17 to eventually chase 19 and 20 of Nadal and Federer.