Novak Djokovic moved a step closer to retaining the Australian Open title with a straight-set semi-final win over injury-hit rival Roger Federer. Serbia’s Djokovic was 4-1 and 40-0 down in the opening set before recovering to win the tie-break. That laid the platform for the 32-year-old second seed to go on and win 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-3.
Djokovic, aiming for a 17th Grand Slam title, will face Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final. “The match could have definitely gone a different way if he had used those break points [in the sixth game],” Djokovic said. “He started well – I was nervous. “Respect to Roger for coming out tonight. He was obviously hurt and wasn’t close to his best in terms of movement.” Victory would mean a record-extending eighth Australian Open triumph for Djokovic, who has lost just three matches at Melbourne Park in the past 10 tournaments. It would also move him within three of 38-year-old’s Federer’s all-time record of 20 men’s Grand Slam singles titles and within two of Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who lost to Thiem in Wednesday’s quarter-final.