Connect with us

Tennis

Djokovic praises ailing Federer after sweeping into final

Published

on

Roger Federer and Djokovic

Novak Djokovic paid “huge respect” to old rival Roger Federer Thursday after he swept past the ailing star and into a record eighth Australian Open final to move closer to his 17th Grand Slam crown.

In the 50th instalment of one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, the Serb shrugged off a tentative start to reinforce his recent dominance, showing no mercy to the injury-hit Swiss maestro in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-3 win.

He will play either fifth seed Dominic Thiem or seventh-ranked German Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final, but it will take a monumental effort to prise another title from the 32-year-old.

Of the seven Melbourne finals Djokovic has made, he has won them all.

Novak Djokovic

If any extra motivation was needed, winning on Sunday will see the Serb reclaim the number one ranking after Thiem sent Rafael Nadal packing in the last eight.

“It’s never easy to play Roger. I mean, obviously he was hurting. You could see it in his movement. Respect to him for trying his best” said defending champion Djokovic, who is into his 26th Grand Slam final.

“After losing the first set, he got a medical (timeout). He came back and played all the way through. It’s unfortunate that he was not at his best.”

It was the fourth time Djokovic had beaten Federer at the semi-final stage in Melbourne after doing the same in 2008, 2011 and 2016.

Federer, the 2018 champion, came into the match carrying a groin injury that he picked up in his five-set, come-from-behind quarter-final win against Tennys Sandgren.

Novak Djokovic

He was seen around Melbourne Park before the match with tape on his upper right leg and there were even rumours that he might pull out.

But that is not in the 38-year-old’s nature — he has only ever given up four walkovers in his long career and has never retired in more than 1,500 matches, facts that Djokovic said were “amazing” and deserved “huge respect”.

– Power and finesse –

Djokovic was a clear favourite after beating the third seed in every Grand Slam meeting since Wimbledon 2012, but in their 50th career clash it was Federer who initially set Rod Laver Arena alight.

The opening game, on Federer’s serve, lasted six minutes in an indication of what might be in store.

Then against the odds the 38-year-old, the oldest man in a Grand Slam semi since Jimmy Connors in 1991, broke Djokovic on his first service game with an unbelievable backhand passing shot.

The edge didn’t last long with the Serb immediately hitting back to even it up.

But the power and finesse of the Federer game was troubling Djokovic, who was on the back foot and was broken once more to go 4-1 behind.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Federer had three break points to make it 5-1, but Djokovic dug deep to fend them off as he clawed back, breaking once more as the Swiss was serving for the set.

It went to a tiebreaker which the second seed dominated to pull off a remarkable turnaround in a set that Federer threw away.

Federer took a medical timeout at the end of it and he wasn’t moving freely in the second set.

But he clung on until he fluffed an easy shot at the net to hand Djokovic set point at 4-5 and the Serb cracked a top-quality crosscourt volley to go two sets to one in front.

Djokovic was pumped and Federer rapidly running out of steam.

When the Swiss star was broken to go 4-2 behind in the third, there was no way back as his rival extended his winning record over him to 27-23.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Serena Williams May Never Be Able to Equal Margaret Court’s All-Time Grand Slam Record Serena Williams May Never Be Able to Equal Margaret Court’s All-Time Grand Slam Record
Celebrity4 days ago

Why Serena Williams May Never Be Able to Equal Margaret Court’s All-Time Grand Slam Record

  Widely regarded as the greatest female player in history, former world No. 1 Serena Williams has won 23 Grand...

Serena Williams at the pool all day and getting manipedis Serena Williams at the pool all day and getting manipedis
Celebrity4 days ago

‘I saw Serena Williams completely naked in the locker room, She’s so Big’… Check

  Serena Williams is widely considered as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and that comes from her amazing tennis,...

Venus Williams Photos Venus Williams Photos
Celebrity4 days ago

Venus Williams: Six provoking photos that got fans talking

  As for her biggest role models, Williams says she really doesn’t have to look beyond her own mother and...

Serena Williams super dance Serena Williams super dance
Celebrity5 days ago

Serena Williams dazzles in a gold mini dress in front of admirers

  The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is currently on a sabbatical from professional tennis. Williams last competed at...

Serena Williams performs twerking Serena Williams performs twerking
Celebrity5 days ago

Amazing Serena Williams performs hot twerking in front of admirers

  The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is currently on a sabbatical from professional tennis. Williams last competed at...

Serena and Venus Williams' mother Serena and Venus Williams' mother
Celebrity5 days ago

Serena and Venus Williams’ mother and What She Does For a Living

  SERENA and Venus Williams have dominated the tennis world and their success started with their parents. Their mother, Oracene...

Serena Williams and mother Orance Price kiss Serena Williams and mother Orance Price kiss
Celebrity5 days ago

Serena and Venus Williams’ mother: Who is she married to?

  SERENA and Venus Williams have dominated the tennis world and their success started with their parents. Their mother, Oracene...

Serena and Venus Williams’ mother Oracene Price Serena and Venus Williams’ mother Oracene Price
Celebrity5 days ago

Oracene Price: 5 Things To Know About Serena & Venus Williams’ Mother

  Venus and Serena’s mother Oracene Price gets her own spotlight in Will Smith’s new movie ‘King Richard’. Here’s everything...

Oracene Price Oracene Price
Celebrity6 days ago

Oracene Price: “Afraid I’m giving away the secret”

  American tennis great Serena Williams has been one of the most followed athletes in the world. Her popularity exceeds...

Are you looking at my titles asks Serena Williams as she jogs around Wimbledon Are you looking at my titles asks Serena Williams as she jogs around Wimbledon
Celebrity6 days ago

Serena Williams laments: “My A$$ is too big & heavy… It limits my speed”

  Serena Williams has always been famous for her curves, but the tennis star admits her booty is too big...

Advertisement

Copyright © 2017