World No. 1, Novak Djokovic on Thursday advanced to his sixth Australian Open final with a 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory over a gallant Roger Federer at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne.
The Serb is now on his way through to his seventh straight Grand Slam.
Djokovic played tidy tennis for much of their 2-hour, 19-minute matchup, having had to hold off a spirited Federer fightback, finishing with 33 winners and only 20 misfires.
Djokovic’s message was clear from the start against Federer: The 10-time major champion won 12 of the first 14 points en route to a two-set lead in just 54 minutes.
The world No. 1 had outrun, outhit and outplayed Federer in every facet of the game.
“Well, I’ve had matches where I’ve played similar tennis,” Djokovic said. “But I think against Roger, these first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall I think throughout my career.
“I’ve had some moments against him in sets where I’ve played on a high level, but this was, yeah, I think a different level than from before. I’m just very, very pleased that I was able to perform the way I did from the very beginning ’til the end.”
It is the third straight Grand Slam in which the 28-year old has beaten the Swiss, prolonging Federer’s wait for an 18th major title.
“I’ve seen Novak play this well before, Federer said.
“It’s tough when it’s from the start because obviously you got to try to stop the bleeding at some point, you know. Because he returns very well, like Andre Agassi. He can get one or two sets all of a sudden. Those sets run away very quickly.”
Federer is now winless in his past 14 Grand Slam events, extending the longest drought of his career.
“Of course I wanted to do well, the 34-year old added.
“Of course I had a game plan. Of course I had ideas what I should do. I couldn’t quite get it done. Maybe parts of my game, maybe parts of his game just matched up in a tough way.”
Djokovic will face either Andy Murray or Canada’s Milos Raonic in Sunday’s final.