Thursday, 27 February, 2020

Roger Federer praises Novak Djokovic after Australian Open clash

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Switzerland's Roger Federer during their men's singles semi-final match on day eleven of the Australian Open in Melbourne How to watch Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2020: Live stream, time, channel
Rhonda Reese | 31 January, 2020, 00:26

Roger Federer has said his straight-sets Australian Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic was "horrible", as the injury-stricken Swiss claimed he felt he only had "a 3 percent chance" of winning the match.

Roger Federer hasn't beaten Novak Djokovic in a major tournament since their semifinals match in 2012.

"What he did was wonderful, he showed me he's one of the best players of all time", said Djokovic, who is targeting a record eighth title in Melbourne.

A six-time champion in Melbourne, Federer, 38, was unsurprisingly unwilling to guarantee he would be back at the Australian Open, but he was hopeful.

Despite the problem, Federer stunned the Rod Laver Arena with a blistering start which saw him lead 4-1 and 40-0 before Djokovic fought back.

In the 50th instalment of one of sport's greatest rivalries, the Serb shrugged off a tentative start to reinforce his recent dominance, showing no mercy to Federer in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-3 win.

One key this time could be how Federer feels after dealing with a painful groin muscle while saving seven match points during a five-set quarterfinal win.

While that scenario never eventuated, Federer did call a medical timeout at the end of the first set and was clearly hampered by the injury as the match progressed.

Top players now avoiding Man United - Berbatov
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken a thinly-veiled dig at midfielder Paul Pogba's commitment to the club. It remains to be seen whether the Norwegian tactician will be given as long as a German rival to get things right.

"It was just something I had to do", Djokovic said, "because those few games, I really couldn't see much".

'It was probably not the best mindset from me at the begging of the match I was looking at how he was moving.

"But once you can see it coming, that it's not going to work anymore, it's tough".

"No, look, at the end of the day I'm very happy".

Federer saved more break points to force a tie-break but by now Djokovic had stopped missing and was finding some fine offensive shots of his own.

As someone who has won 20 Grand Slam titles and 102 titles in all over his career, success is a relative term.

"It's frustrating, but I don't think I would have gone on court if I felt I had no chance to win". The 32-year-old had cryptically revealed after his quarter-final victory over Milos Raonic that there was more bothering him than simply the contact lens problems he experienced, with speculation about a stomach issue.

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