Djokovic denies Federer in semis
Novak Djokovic marked the third anniversary of his only Grand Slam title by upsetting Roger Federer 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 6-4 to book into a second final at the Australian Open Thursday.
The fourth-ranked Serb dismissed the world’s No. 2 player at a second straight major after winning their September semi at the U.S. Open. Only Rafael Nadal had previously beaten the 16-time winner in back-toback Slams.
Earlier, Thursday, the women’s final was decided when Belgian Kim Clijsters reached her eighth Grand Slam final while challenger Li Na plays a historic first for China.
Toronto’s Daniel Nestor saw his Grand Slam effort end Thursday as he and doubles partner Max Mirnyi, the No. 2 seeds, lost 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 at the Australian Open to the reunited Indian team of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
Nestor is still in the mixed doubles with Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia; the two received a walkover into the semifinals when opponents Anastasia Rodionova and Bhupathi, claiming an injury to Bhupathi, defaulted.
Djokovic will take on either David Ferrer, who knocked out Nadal in the quarter-finals, or 2010 finalist Andy Murray, with that pair playing today.
“I will watch that match in bed with popcorn,” joked Djokovic. “They are both great players.
“David is in top shape after beating Rafa and Andy is playing well on this court. It’s a Grand Slam final, anything can happen, I believe in myself.”
Federer has a record 16 Grand Slam titles, but for the first time since 2003 is not the current holder at a major.
“I thought he played a great match, I didn’t think I played bad myself, so it was a match played at a very high intensity for a long period of time,” said Federer.
“Clearly, it’s disappointing to lose, but what to do if he plays well on the big points, and potentially maybe I didn’t. It was a tough match.
Djokovic won his lone Grand Slam title in Melbourne on Jan. 27, 2008 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
That match also marked the last final at the majors featuring neither Federer nor Nadal.
Federer’s loss followed by 24 hours the exit of injured top seed Nadal at the hands of fellow Spaniard Ferrer.