Djokovic downs Federer in straight sets to make Aus Open final: As it happened

World No.2 Serbian, Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in straight sets 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 to make Australian Open Final

Roger Federer hits a return against Novak Djokovic during their men's singles semifinal match of the Australian Open.

Roger Federer hits a return against Novak Djokovic during their men's singles semifinal match of the Australian Open.   -  AFP

Hello and welcome to the live blog of the Australian Open semifinal clash between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. This was Lalith Kalidas bringing you the updates.

 

 

With the start that Federer had in this match, he left everyone stunned as the Swiss had Novak's number. But on the dying moments of the first set, Federer began to lose sheen in a shocker. The unforced errors were back in to the fore and since then Novak grew upon the injured World No.3. The hard-court master is through to his eighth final at Melbourne Park and will aim to defend his crown on Sunday!

 

3: The miracle-run is over! Novak Djokovic is through to his eighth Australian Open Final!

3: 3-5 | Hold on! Match Point for Novak.

3: 3-5 | 30-30 | This is high-quality!  Under pressure, this is the greatest anyone could play. Federer keeps it alive.

3: Two points away is Novak!

3: 3-5 | Federer holds and it's curtains if he does not break Novak here - serving for the match!

3: 2-5 | No miracles this time! Djokovic has held the serve. A game away from the final! The relentless hard-court champion has chained the Swiss this time as well.

3: Merely two hours on the clock and Novak has almost sealed it.

3: 2-4 | That must be well be it as Djokovic spears a cross-court backhand that has almost closed this game.

3: 2-3 | BREAK POINT for Novak! Is this the game?

3: 2-3 | Federer rallying between a spectrum of his greatest masterpiece and ugliest shots possible on court.

3: 2-3 | A searing ace on to Federer after teasing him with delectable volleys which the World No.3 miserably failed to put off. There isn't a miracle this time around, is there?

3: 2-2 | The serve is the only trait intact of a top-gear Federer. Narrowly holds on....

3: 1-2 | Growing in stature is Djokovic here. On the front for an eighth final at Melbourne!

3: 1-1 | One might be left to think how could Fed be trailing two sets in this semfinal! By such brilliance on the forehand and serve - he has still left himself on the edge.

 

Novak leads 2-0 as third set begins......

And he has given it away! Blame me or him - Federer has been broken by Djokovic here! A below-par Novak has been comforted by Federer's ridiculous tennis!

2: 4-5 | SET POINT FOR FEDERER! How did Federer miss that one!?

2: 4-4 | Federer has been stellar on serve - reminiscing some of his best years with the first touch!

 

2: 3-3 | Federer holds! He has built pressure as he comes up-front and will be hoping to extracting this into more winners. Novak, surprisingly has lost his sheen on return from the baseline.

2: Djokovic is livid as he misses the break point! Erratic from Novak as well on the unforced errors count.

2: 2-3 | 30-30 | Federer has been ripping the net-play against Djokovic! He is not at his physical best but pulls of absolute magic on the approach!

Point won: 0-4 shot rallies: Federer 27 Djokovic 7

5+ shot rallies: Federer 6 Djokovic 20

 

2: 2-3 | Shabby on the return as Federer's ugly shot flies past Djokovic beside the baseline.

2: Winners: Federer 30 Djokovic 12 .... and you know who's leading the match!!

2: 2-2 | Encouraging game for Fed! Novak's returns have been so far, nowhere near his best and Roger has failed to capitalise off serve.

2: 1-2 | Slowly going downhill for Federer. Novak has been helped immensely by the folly play from Federer and has clawed back on top.

2: 1-1 | A sigh of relief for the fans there! Federer by the skin of his teeth has held the game his way.

 

2: 0-1 | Federer on serve! Survival mode: ON!

2: 0-1 | Given the way Federer has levelled down in this clash, I don't see a resurgence. He will not be helped with one as Novak is slowly finding his feet!

2nd set underway!

At the right(wrong) moment for Federer - he has succumbed to the nerves as the unforced errors poured themselves all across the court. In no way did anyone expect Djokovic to see off Federer who had a four-game lead at an instance. Just like the twitter post I had mentioned earlier: Roger creates pressure if there isn't one!

 

1: 6-7 First set| Novak has taken it away! A shocking show from Federer!

1: 1-4 | In a self-destruct mission, Federer has given it away!

1: 1-3 | Federer approaches the net on the volley and makes it look easy - something which he has not used enough so far!

1: 0-3 | The shocking errors are crippling Federer once again!

1: 0-2 | Earl lead for Novak!

1: TIEBREAK |  I honestly cannot believe my eyes! There was little of Djokovic in this set! All about Federer - he weaved magic and hoaxed himself with a vicious charm as well!

 

1: 6-5 | The classic serve and volley - Federer back to his prime - nothing extravagant. Just Roger!

1: 5-5 |Does it make any sense!? Does it? Break point for Novak! From a 3-game lead, Roger has messed himself up to this point! The magician working backwards!

1: 5-5 | 15-0 | Roger nullifies the speed of that forehand from Djoko to zero! What a marvel to witness this dicey drop!

1: 5-5 | Federer has flunked it away once again - Djokovic is surging ahead!

1: 5-4 | Nearly flawless for 40 minutes in to the set; Federer has unlocked the 'choke' coils!

Inconsistent serves, cracking return games!  - Lighting up another Melbourne eve!

1: 5-4 | Novak breaks back! It just doesn't come easy for Roger this year I guess. He just loses precision and falls himself into a minimal self of himself to make it more challenging for himself!!

1: Three break points for Novak! Federer has got this in to his game to flounder - right at the finish line!

1: 5-3 |  And he holds! Novak made to grind for his serve! Federer serves for the set!

1: 5-2 | The second serve percentage has dropped staggeringly from Djokovic. Federer providing a masterpiece - mentally and physically on court!

1: 5-2 | Highly unlikely of Novak! Federer climbing on with absolute precision - the winners are spot on from the Swiss!

1: 5-2 | Cruising through his serve does Federer. He is trying to keep his serve short and crisp - helping his weary legs!

1: 4-2 | Djokovic holds, but barely! Federer squandering his chances as the backhand flaws on a couple of occasions. However, Fed is not keeping it easy for Novak.

1: 5 minutes into the Djoko serve!

1: 4-1 | Two break points for Federer! Roger has heightened his senses in this game here early on!

Acing their way through!

 

1: 4-1 | In a stunning start to the semifinal here, Federer has gained a three game lead with Djokovic to serve. Novak was not expecting such a resounding reply from Federer and his face gives it away. But in no will this deter the seven-time champ!

1: 3-1 |  Djokovic would not have expected an early assault of this standard from a weakened Federer! Roger has broken Novak once again! The world no.2 gives it away!

1: 2-1 | AD. Federer | Roger lighting up the Arena! He has shunned Djokovic here with his amazing returns.

1: 2-1 |30-40 | The returns look clean today from Federer! Elegant and nonchalance from Roger!

 

1: 2-1 | Roger has got a terrific response here! Djokovic hits straight back and an intense roar from the Serb. Djokovic breaks back!

1: 2-0 | Roger has stunned the Serb! The one-handed backhand at its supreme best! Federer has broken Djokovic on serve!

1: 1-0 | 40-15 | Strange from the Serb on serve!

The World No.3 will have to be at his peak to match the Serbian and straightaway he is reminded of the fact.

1: 1-0 | Three aces in the first game and Roger works his way through serve.

1: Novak making Federer fight to hold his game!

1: DEUCE | Roger accurate on serve and fends off an early threat.

1: Early concerns for Fed. Two break points for Djokovic.

Federer to serve!

The best returner on the planet Novak is looking supremely confident. He has had his rival under control for the larger part of their rivalry and with the best record at the Australian Open - Novak starts the clash as a favourite comfortably.

Federer's injury makes his chance stutter a bit more - swindling his chances - but as we all know in a myriad of possibilities with Roger - 'it's not over until it's over!'

SET 1: The crowd is still behind Roger as they seamlessly cheer for the legend and the Serbian is not left behind as well amid a packed house!

Federer enters the stadium amid all concerns and confusions over his presence in the matchup today. He is seen heavily taped off on his right thigh. No information on the extent of it but the gritty champion who has dogged through this tournament is here to put a fight up against the Serbian superstar. Set 1 underway in a few moments.....

The stage is set - a Grand Slam semifinal! A rock-hard Novak Djokovic meets a weakened Roger Federer as the temperature soars in Melbourne. Here it is - the first semifinal of the 2020 Australian Open!

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What they said

Federer: "I think conditions suit us well here. Start the year strong, probably something to do with court speed, feeling comfortable down here."

Djokovic: "Roger is Roger. You know that he's always going to play on such a high level, regardless of the surface. He loves to play these kinds of matches, big rivalries, semis, finals of grand slams."

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JUST IN: Federer has not recovered from the groin injury yet and has been seen with a taped right thigh on footage as per reports from Melbourne Park.

 

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Road to the semis

Federer – Round 1 – v S.Johnson – 6-3, 6-2, 6-3

                 Round 2 – v  Krajinovic – 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

                 Round 3 - v Millman – 4-6, 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(8)

                 Round 4 – v Fucsovics – 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

                 QF – v Sandgren – 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2


Djokovic - Round 1 – v Struff – 7-6(5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1

                  Round 2 – v Ito – 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

                  Round 3 - v Nishioka– 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

                 Round 4 – v Schwartzman – 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

                 QF - v 32-Raonic - 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(1)

 

Stat Attack

H2H: Djokovic leads 26-23

At the Australian Open: Djokovic leads 3-1

Last meeting: 2019 - Nitto ATP Finals - Federer won 6-4, 6-3

Overwhelming yet ominous!

Time spent on court by Federer before reaching the semis at Australian Open (Since 2010)

2010: 09 hr 22 min

2011: 09 hr 54 min

2012: 07 hr 18 min (1 W/O)

2013: 10 hr 21 min

2014: 09 hr 18 min

2016: 08 hr 32 min

2017: 10 hr 05 min

2018: 09 hr 22 min

2020: 12 hr 04 min

 

Whenever Novak Djokovic has got past the quarterfinals in Australian Open, he has gone on to win the title (in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019). His record in SF/Final: 7-0.


Roger Federer's record in Australian Open

in SF: Won 7, Lost 7

In Final: Won 6, lost 1

When Roger Federer plays Novak Djokovic today, he will become the oldest Australian Open semi finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1977.  

Grand Slams where Roger Federer has won multiple five set matches: 2020 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2017 US Open (Quarter Finalist) 2017 Australian Open (Champion) 2009 French Open (Champion) 2001 Wimbledon (Quarter Finalist)

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A post on Twitter recently from a Federer fan – after Roger’s return from the abyss read:

Roger: Yes I am looking for trouble. And if I cannot find it. I will create it!

Overwhelmed and worn out are they, the Roger camp, who have witnessed some extraordinary moments over the week from the legend who has essayed it all on a tennis court!

The 38-year-old has surely must pay heed to this piece of advice from the community as well: Federer has to realize that many of his fans are getting older as well, stuff like this can't be good for their health."

 

Undoubtedly, the Swiss maestro has drained himself en route his 15 semifinal at the Australian Open – surely no one could have pulled of a heist like the one against Sandgren in the fourth round.The tireless man’s passion has kept him going thus far and in a quest for his 21 Grand Slam title, a possibly worn out body will be facing his greatest nemesis among contemporaries – Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian relishes the rivalry with Federer – emerging victorious in 26 of the 49 encounters between them.However, the Swiss won their last clash in the ATP Finals in 2019 and even went on to say that he now feels that his frustrating rival who has crippled them in the past is now “beatable”.

Will an injury-struck Federer stand a chance against the hard-court master man Novak Djokovic in a titanic clash?

If you still haven’t gotten over the Wimbledon final, here comes another battle – a 50th bout between the greats of the game!