World No 1 says the first two sets of the Australian Open semi-final victory were his best-ever against the Swiss giant
Melbourne: Novak Djokovic said his sublime first two sets against Roger Federer were the best he's ever played against the Swiss as he reached his sixth Australian Open final in convincing fashion yesterday.
Novak Djokovic exults after beating Roger Federer in the Australian Open semi-final yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
The World No 1, now into his fifth straight Grand Slam final, was on a different level to the 17-time major winner in the opening two sets as he dished out a dominant, four-set semi-final victory.
The five-time winner maintained his hold over World No 3 Federer, winning 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 final.
It was the 45th meeting between two titans of the sport, with Djokovic now edging Federer 23-22 in their head-to-head duels. "These first two sets have been probably the best two sets I've played against him overall throughout my career," declared Djokovic.
"I've had some moments against him in sets where I've played on a high level, but this was, yeah, I think a different level than from before.
'Very, very pleased'
"I'm just very, very pleased that I was able to perform the way I did from the very beginning till the end."
Djokovic, who was simply irresistible in cruising two sets up in 54 minutes, said he played "flawless" tennis.
"When you're playing one of your top rivals, somebody of Roger's resume, of course it requires a lot of focus, determination, and a different preparation for that match-up than most of the other matches," he said.
"I played flawless tennis for first two sets, no doubt about it."
Djokovic said he was now going to enjoy his two days off and prepare for his 19th Grand Slam final.
"I think it's good for me at this stage. I've played a lot of tennis. Actually it's going to serve me well for my recovery," he said. "Tomorrow's match is going to be interesting to watch. Being in the final and watching the other semi-final, of course it's quite a joyful feeling. Whoever wins I'm going to be ready for the great battle."
Djokovic broke Federer's serve five times, dropped his serve just once, won 115 points to 82 and hit 33 winners with only 20 unforced errors, while Federer committed 51 unforced errors.