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Djokovic beats Federer to reach Australian final

 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates a point win against Switzerland's Roger Federer during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships...
 Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms as he celebrates his win over Switzerland's Roger Federer  in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis c...
 Supporters of Serbia's Novak Djokovic cheer him on during his semifinal match against Switzerland's Roger Federer at the Australian Open tennis champ...
 Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes the sweat from his face during his semifinal match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open tennis ch...
 Switzerland's Roger Federer makes forehand return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships...
 Switzerland's Roger Federer waves as he leaves Rod Laver Arena after his quarterfinal loss to Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open tennis c...
 Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures to his supporters as he celebrates his win over Switzerland's Roger Federer  in their semifinal at the Australian Op...

Australian Open Tennis

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates a point win against Switzerland's Roger Federer during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships...

Australian Open Tennis

Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms as he celebrates his win over Switzerland's Roger Federer in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis c...

Australian Open Tennis

Supporters of Serbia's Novak Djokovic cheer him on during his semifinal match against Switzerland's Roger Federer at the Australian Open tennis champ...

Australian Open Tennis

Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes the sweat from his face during his semifinal match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open tennis ch...

Australian Open Tennis

Switzerland's Roger Federer makes forehand return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships...

Australian Open Tennis

Switzerland's Roger Federer waves as he leaves Rod Laver Arena after his quarterfinal loss to Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open tennis c...

Australian Open Tennis

Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures to his supporters as he celebrates his win over Switzerland's Roger Federer in their semifinal at the Australian Op...

Roger Federer saved a parting shot for anyone who thinks his time is up and a changing of the guard in tennis awaits.
"Yeah, I mean, they say that very quickly. ... Let's talk in six months again," he said.
The heavily hyped duel between Federer and Rafael Nadal will not happen in Melbourne, opening a rare window for someone else.
Federer, the defending champion, lost to Novak Djokovic 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-4 in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday. It marks the first time since 2008 neither of tennis' most dominant men will play in a Grand Slam final. Less than 24 hours earlier, an ailing Nadal's pursuit of a Rafa Slam evaporated in a quarterfinal loss to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
Djokovic planned to relax and eat popcorn while watching Friday night's semifinal between Andy Murray, the 2010 finalist, and No. 7-ranked Ferrer.
Federer and Nadal have combined to win 21 of the last 23 majors. This is also the first time since 2003 that Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam winner, will not hold at least one of the four major trophies.
The Swiss great was outplayed by Djokovic, who reveled in the cooler night weather. It was the second straight time Federer has lost to the Serb _ he had match points before losing in the U.S. Open semifinals.
"It's disappointing and it hurts in the moment itself," Federer said. "I wish I could have won here again for the fifth time. But wasn't possible tonight. It's not the end in any way. It's a start for many other tournaments after this."
Nadal limped away from his match, saying he had a small muscle tear in his upper left leg and casting doubt on his readiness for at least a few weeks. Federer has no ailments to speak of.
"I feel very good. I'm very optimistic about the next 15 tournaments, however many I'm playing," he said. "I've barely lost matches lately really, so I'm happy with where my game is at, with where my condition is at.
"I'm really excited for what's to come. This is obviously a bit of a blow. At the same time, I played a good tournament. I have no regrets."
Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro are the only players who have broken the Nadal-Federer sequence. Del Potro beat Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final. Djokovic defeated Federer in the Australian semifinals three years ago, then beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.
Since then, Djokovic has been the perennial next-best player _ he has finished the last four years at No. 3. His victory on Thursday came easier than his semifinal victory over Federer at the U.S. Open when he had to save two match points.
"It's really one of the best matches I've played in a while," Djokovic said.
Djokovic appreciates what Federer and Nadal have done for tennis, but he wouldn't mind busting up this duopoly.
"On one side it's good for the sport to have more players being able to win against Federer and Nadal," he said. "All credit to them for what they have done in the last five, six years. They've been very dominant and just a great example of champions.
"It was really hard to challenge them, especially in the big events where they play their best tennis. Now these things are changing a little bit, so from that perspective it's good for the sport."
He was careful to play down any talk about a new order in tennis.
"Look, it's maybe early to say that," said Djokovic, who has improved to seven wins in 20 matches against Federer. "Roger is still very much motivated to reclaim the first spot in the rankings. He's playing great. Tonight I think I played maybe a better match, but he's still up there and in extraordinary form and in the last five, six tournaments he won five," Djokovic said.
"You have Nadal on the other hand who has been a very, very dominant player. We are still behind them. You can't say there is a new era coming up. There are more players able to win majors, which is good."
But Federer cautioned his competitors and critics to watch out after the Open. He can handle the Melbourne loss, he said, because "that's sometimes how it goes."
"Doesn't mean the guy that doesn't win the tournament can't play tennis," he said. "That's sometimes how things are portrayed. I had a great season last year, and I think I'll have another one this year."


Updated : 2021-08-01 03:06 GMT+08:00