World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia meets all-time great Roger Federer of Switzerland in the semifinal round of the men’s singles competition of the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday.
The marquee match-up between Djokovic and Federer is the most anticipated pairing in the first Grand Slam tournament of the new ATP season with both players aiming to add more to their collection of majors’ titles in their career.
Federer, who already owns the record for most Grand Slam titles in the history of the sport, is looking for his 18th majors championship but only his first since winning the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
“It’s part of the reason why I guess I’m still playing. I feel like I’m competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour. It’s nice now that in the last three slams that I’ve been as consistent as I have been,” Federer said via the tournament’s official website when asked about his mission to win another Grand Slam.
Djokovic, who has dominated the men’s singles scene the past two seasons and who is the defending champion in Melbourne, has appeared in six of the last eight Grand Slam tournament finals with four majors win, at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and three times last season, the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
Djokovic has 10 Grand Slam titles in his career and still seven short of Federer’s world record but a win Thursday will put cut the Swiss’ lead and at the same time stop Federer from winning yet another Grand Slam in his career.
Djokovic admitted that he might have the edge against the older Federer when matches are dragged on to four or five sets but said Federer is always a dangerous opponent.
“I don’t think there’s too big of a difference physically. He’s been not spending too much time on the court. He’s been winning quite comfortably this tournament. He’s pretty fit. He moves very well,” Djokovic said.
“Yeah, maybe. The longer the match goes, maybe I have slightly bigger chance. I don’t still think it’s something I can heavily rely on.”
The last time the pair met was at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals, the season-ending tourney of the season. Federer won the first match, 7-5 6-2 in the group stages but Djokovic won in the more important stage of the tourney, winning 6-3 6-3 over Federer in the championship round.
Overall, these rivals are tied at 22 wins each in 44 head-to-head meetings in their career. However, Djokovic has dominated Federer recently winning six of the last eight match-ups against the Swiss and three of the last four meetings.
Djokovic has also dominated Federer in their last three Grand Slam meetings, winning twice in 2015, at the Wimbledon Championships (7-6 (1) 6-7 (10) 6-4 6-3) and US Open (6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4) and once in 2014, at the Wimbledon Championships, 6-7 (7) 6-4 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-4.
Catch the 2016 Australian Open semifinals: Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer live streaming via the ATP’s official website and also at Tennis TV. Djokovic vs. Federer Live Blog and Live Scores are also available in the Australian Open website.
Photo courtesy: 20minutes.fr