Melbourne - Top seed Novak Djokovic saw off a thrilling fight-back by his great
rival Roger Federer to reach his sixth Australian Open final and fifth
consecutive Grand Slam title match on Thursday.
The Serbian world
number one downed third seed Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours, 19
minutes and will face either Andy Murray or Milos Raonic in Sunday's
It was the 45th meeting between the two greats with Djokovic now edging ahead of Federer 23-22 in their head-to-head duels.
amazing Serb continued his recent domination over the 17-time Grand
Slam champion and on Sunday, he will become the first man in the Open
era to contest six Australian Open finals.
"I played an
unbelievable first two sets but that is what is necessary against Roger
as he has been playing at a very high level in this tournament,"
"I knew he was going to be aggressive and mix up
the pace and try to come to the net, but I came out with the right
intensity with great concentration and I executed everything perfect.
"But it was a battle in the end."
will also be Djokovic's 19th Grand Slam final overall and he moves into
equal-third place with Ivan Lendl on the all-time list of most
appearances in major finals, which is headed by Federer.
10-time Grand Slam champion was in sensational form in the opening two
sets, carving up Federer in their 15th Grand Slam encounter with his
fabulous groundstrokes for the loss of only three games in just 54
He broke Federer's first service to 15 and then held his serve to lead 3-0, winning 12 of the first 14 points.
The Swiss third seed was broken again in the sixth game, netting a forehand with Djokovic in full cry.
6-1 first set was his easiest opening-set win over Federer. He won 24
points to 11, with the rushed Swiss making 12 unforced errors.
was broken to love in the third game in a similar start to the second
set, with the world number one able to do no wrong. He broke again in
the fifth game and made it two sets to love with less than an hour gone.
winner Federer probed for a way back in, with the Australian crowd
urging him on, and he broke Djokovic for the first time in the sixth
game of the third set.
The Swiss was finally putting pressure on
Djokovic and he claimed the third set on his third set point, to a
thunderous roar on Rod Laver Arena.
But both players had to cool
their heels as play was delayed to enable the stadium roof to be closed
ahead of expected rain, making for indoor playing conditions.
broke Federer for a fifth time in the match in a sensational eighth
game of the fourth set, featuring a forehand return winner for the
break, and he safely served out for the match in the following game.