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. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Venus Williams to headline Vagaro's iconic.22 wellness conference Venus Williams to headline Vagaro's iconic.22 wellness conference
News3 weeks ago

13 overwhelming pictures of Venus Williams that dazzle everyone

  Venus Williams has won 75 championship tennis titles throughout her decades-long career. She runs several successful businesses, including her...

Serena Williams massive chest pics Serena Williams massive chest pics
News3 weeks ago

21 Serena Williams’ provoking pictures that compliment her neck nape

  Serena Williams looked sensational as she headed out for dinner in New York City on Tuesday. The tennis star,...

News4 weeks ago

Six pictures as Serena Williams accidentally flashes her pants and got everyone talking

  Serena Williams makes her choice of beachwear colorful and edgy. The four-time Olympic gold medalist was spotted while arriving...

1-on-1 with Venus Williams 1-on-1 with Venus Williams
Celebrity4 weeks ago

Venus Williams offering $2 million to anyone who wants it

  Virginity at 42 isn’t believable in the current world where people get into relationships as early as in their...

Serena Williams happy with her husband Alexis Ohanian Serena Williams happy with her husband Alexis Ohanian
Celebrity4 weeks ago

Serena Williams: “Why I don’t like oral Sex”

  On and off the court, Serena Williams serves up style and beauty looks that keep us all buzzing. Williams...

Serena Williams showing off her toned body Serena Williams showing off her toned body
News4 weeks ago

19 overwhelming pictures Of Serena Williams we can’t stop looking at…

  Tennis great Serena Williams spends the day with an unidentified man on the beach in her bikini, with her...

Venus Williams discusses 'King Richard' Venus Williams discusses 'King Richard'
Celebrity4 weeks ago

Venus Williams, 42: “I’m offering $2 million to anyone who wants it”

  Virginity at 42 isn’t believable in the current world where people get into relationships as early as in their...

Serena Williams dares to bare in SI Swim shoot photos Serena Williams dares to bare in SI Swim shoot photos
News4 weeks ago

Serena Williams posts 11 eye-popping curvy photos as she poses in minuscule bikini

  Serena Williams shows off her super fit figure in form-fitting gym wear as she shoots a new commercial in...

Venus Williams Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction Exposing Her Venus Williams Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction Exposing Her
Celebrity4 weeks ago

14 overwhelming pictures of Venus Williams that dazzle everyone

  Former World No.1 Venus Williams recently spoke about what men say to her dates. “When guys get nervous and...

Serena Williams In a Thong Bikini pics Serena Williams In a Thong Bikini pics
Celebrity4 weeks ago

12 Serena Williams’ best bikini moments we can’t stop looking at…

  Serena Williams looks incredible in a colourful swimsuit as she jumps into the water and cosies up to husband...

Advertisement

Copyright © 2017