AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Djokovic Masterclass Dismantles Ferrer
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic stormed into his fourth Australian Open final on Thursday evening in Melbourne as he blitzed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-finals.
The Serb extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Ferrer to 10-5 in a phenomenal display, wrapping up victory in 89 minutes. Djokovic hit 30 winners to just 16 unforced errors. He converted all seven of his break points and only lost seven points on serve throughout the match.
"Definitely at this stage of a tournament, playing the semi-finals against the World No. 4, somebody that I have respect for, a great competitor, and being able to perform as well as I did, it's incredible. I have a great feeling about myself on the court at this moment," said Djokovic.
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The 25-year-old Djokovic is bidding to add to his Australian Open triumphs in 2008 (d. Tsonga), 2011 (d. Murray) and 2012 (d. Nadal). Should he succeed, he will become the first man in the Open Era to win three successive Australian Open titles. The Belgrade native is chasing his sixth major championship, having also triumphed at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011.
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In the final, Djokovic will face either World No. 2 Roger Federer or No. 3 Andy Murray, who contest their semi-final match on Friday night at Melbourne Park.
"It's going to be a great match, obviously," said Djokovic. "They're great rivals and also the best players in the world at this moment. They will definitely perform their best for sure in semi-finals. I wouldn't rate anybody as a favourite. Just considering myself, I'll be ready for whomever I play against."
The No. 4-ranked Ferrer was appearing in the Australian Open semi-finals for the second time, having rallied from a two-set deficit to beat countryman Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals, which also marked his 500th tour-level win. In 2011 he defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals before losing to Murray in four sets.
The Valencia native came into Melbourne in a rich vein of form, having won his 19th ATP World Tour title at the Heineken Open in Auckland (d. Kohlschreiber). Last year, Ferrer won an ATP-best 76 matches and captured seven titles.
"He played very, very good," said Ferrer. "I didn't have any chance to win tonight. It was a good three weeks and I'm very happy for that. Of course, I am not happy with my game tonight, but this is tennis. I would prefer to play worse in the semi-finals than in the first round."
Ferrer has now fallen at the semi-final stage of a major five times. All of those defeats have come at the hands of either Djokovic, Murray or Nadal. “It is difficult to reach the final of a Grand Slam,” said the Spaniard. “Sometime it doesn’t depend on me, it depends on my opponent. When I made the semi-finals at Roland Garros, Australian Open, US Open, I lost to the best three players. I am trying to do my best every match. But I know they are better than me. What can I do?”