At one stage, Federer seemed to be headed for heaviest grand slam hiding of his career, having conceded the opening two sets in 54 minutes, only to salvage the occasion by a spirited insurrection in the third set.
With Djokovic leading by two sets and serving at 2-3, Federer finally got his first break points of the match.
Federer actually had a narrow edge in winners, thirty-four to thirty-three.
The 15,000 spectators barely had time to settle in their seats before Djokovic had sewn up the first set in 22 breathtaking minutes.
They gave Federer a standing ovation at the start of the third set to jolt him into action and another at 3-2 when he sealed the break.
Unlike his fourth round tie against Giles Simon in which he produced 100 unforced errors, Djokovic’s accuracy and ball striking was precise as he stormed into a 6-1, 6-2 lead, recording only six mistakes. Djokovic broke Federer in the eighth game to go up 5-3 – not even a stunning down-the-line shot after he earlier chased down a lob on the same point could save the Swiss great.
And he was no less dominant in the second, decisively breaking to love in the third game as he threatened to hand a rattled Federer one of his worst ever defeats.
The two met early Thursday morning in a rematch of last year’s finals at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, both of which Djokovic won.
“These first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall throughout my career”, declared Djokovic.
“He’s been playing 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 ideal”.
In the fourth stanza, there were some glimpses of the usual Federer magic, as highlighted below by Eurosport UK TV, but an imperious Djokovic eventually prevailed.
“I don’t think anyone can really play on that kind of level at all”. You’ve got to be tough and be concentrated.
“In the end of the day you are battling yourself the most”, Djokovic said of his turnaround.
He will now face either Britain’s Andy Murray or Canadian Milos Raonic, who play their semi-final on Friday.
Williams is the overwhelming favorite in the final, and not just based on recent form. Federer is a four-time Australian Open champion (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2010). Now she’s looking for seven wins in seven finals on the same court.
“I definitely block it out”, Williams replied to a question about equaling Graf’s mark. I’ve been working very hard in the last few years. He deserved to win that one.
Following that, defending champion Serena Williams will attempt to stay in the hunt for a seventh singles title when she plays Agnieszka Radwanska.
He did beat Djokovic three times in 2015, but none of those were in a Grand Slam.
“Every time I step into Rod Laver Arena I have this attractive memory from 2008 and of course over the years I have been playing some of my best tennis”, he said. The world number one has never lost this tournament after reaching the semifinals. “He’s the only guy that has been able to stop me as of late, and Stan (Wawrinka) when he was on fire when he was in Paris”, he added, referring to his loss to Wawrinka in last year’s French Open quarter-finals.
Williams hasn’t played a left-hander so far this tournament and said that, combined with Kerber’s quarterfinal win over two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, were making her wary. I know it’s not easy. “Any round feels like a final because of the fact that we are big rivals, we played so many times against each other”. She started unbelievable, with such a power and speed.