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Preview: Djokovic Leads Top 4 Into SFs

Melbourne, Australia

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic has won all four of his Grand Slam meetings against David Ferrer.

DOWN TO TOP FOUR – For the second year in a row the top four seeds are in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, led by World No. 1 and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, World No. 2 and four-time winner Roger Federer, No. 3/reigning US Open champ Andy Murray, and No. 4 seed David Ferrer. Last year Rafael Nadal was in the semi-finals along with Djokovic, Federer and Murray.

This is the fourth time in the Open Era at the Australian Open the top four seeds are in the semi-finals:

Year Top 4 Seeds
1988 Australian Open No. 1 Ivan Lendl
No. 2 Stefan Edberg
No. 3 Mats Wilander
No. 4 Pat Cash
2005 Australian Open No. 1 Roger Federer
No. 2 Andy Roddick
No. 3 Lleyton Hewitt
No. 4 Marat Safin
2012 Australian Open No. 1 Novak Djokovic
No. 2 Rafael Nadal
No. 3 Roger Federer
No. 4 Andy Murray
2013 Australian Open No.1 Novak Djokovic
No. 2 Roger Federer
No. 3 Andy Murray
No. 4 David Ferrer

*Bold denotes eventual champion

BIG FOUR DOMINANCE – In 30 of the past 31 Grand Slam tournaments (since ’05 Roland Garros), a Grand Slam tournament title has been won by one of the current Top 4 ranked players – Djokovic (5), Federer (13), Rafael Nadal (11) and Murray (1). The only exception was at the 2009 US Open where Juan Martin del Potro won his first Grand Slam crown.

FEDEX ATP HEAD2HEADDjokovic owns a 9-5 head-to-head advantage over Ferrer, including 8-2 on hard courts and 4-0 in Grand Slam play (all on hard). Djokovic won the last three meetings in 2012 and Djokovic won the last encounter in the semi-finals at the US Open in four sets. Both of Ferrer’s hard court wins came indoors and his other three wins have come on clay.

Novak Djokovic David Ferrer
Sets Won: 23 13
Tiebreak Sets Won: 2 1
Match Wins By Surface:
Clay: 1 3
Hard: 8 2

Djokovic FastFacts:
Aust. Open W-L: 37-5 (3-0 in semi-finals, third straight SF)
Aust. Open Titles: 3 (2008, 2011-12)
YTD W-L: 5-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 34
Date of Birth: May 22, 1987
Emirates ATP Ranking: 1

• The 25-year-old Serb is appearing in his 11th straight Grand Slam semi-final, his third in a row at the Aust. Open (3-0 overall in SF matches)...Has a 19-match winning streak in Melbourne since his last loss to Tsonga in five sets in quarter-finals three years ago
• His 11 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals reached (since ’10 Wimbledon) is second behind Federer’s all-time record of 23...Overall, Djokovic is playing in his 18th career Slam semi-final (9-8 record)...Has won five of last six SF he’s appeared in...Looking to reach 10th Slam final (5-4)
• The three-time champion (2008, ’11-12) is trying to become the first player in the Open Era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles, the first since Aussie Roy Emerson won five in a row from 1963-67...Jack Crawford also won three in a row from 1931-33
• Was not broken in first three wins in tournament (43 games held) before pulling out a 12-10 in fifth set victory over No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in 5:02 battle in fourth-longest match in Open Era in Australian Open...Then beat No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych in four sets in QF
• Will remain No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after the tournament (will be 66th week at No. 1)

Ferrer FastFacts:
Aust. Open W-L: 28-10 (0-1 in semi-finals, 2011)
Aust. Open Titles: 0
YTD W-L: 12-1
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 19
Date of Birth: April 2, 1982
Emirates ATP Ranking: 5 (will move to No. 4 after Aust. Open)

• The 30-year-old Spaniard is making his fifth Grand Slam semi-final appearance and he’s trying to reach his first final in his 41st career Slam tournament...It would be the most Slam appearances before reaching the final...He’s also playing the Australian Open for the 11th time (28-10 record)
• He is coming off a dramatic five-set win over countryman Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals, rallying from a two-set deficit...Almagro served for the match three times before Ferrer broke a 13-match tie-break losing streak at the Aussie Open by winning the fourth set TB (2-13 career)
• It was his 500th career match win and became the fourth Spaniard to reach that milestone, behind   Manuel Orantes (634), Nadal (583) and Carlos Moya (575)
• He reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open in 2007 (l. to Djokovic) and then went next 12 Slams without reaching semis before getting to SF at ’11 Aust. Open (l. to Murray)...Last year advanced to SF at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) and US Open (l. to Djokovic)
• His five Grand Slam semi-finals is third-most among Spaniards in the Open Era – Nadal (19), Juan Carlos Ferrero (six)

On Thursday, we will preview the second semi-final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

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