Djokovic routs Ferrer to reach Aussie Open final

Published January 24, 2013

| Sports Network

Novak Djokovic will have a chance to become the first man in the Open Era to win a third straight Australian Open title after a straight-set semifinal rout of David Ferrer on Thursday night.

The top-seeded Djokovic needed a mere 89 minutes to dispose of the Spaniard, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. The Serbian won the last two Aussie Open crowns and will be gunning for his fourth overall title in Melbourne, having first won it in 2008.

Djokovic will meet the winner of Friday's blockbuster semifinal between Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Federer is a four-time Australian Open champ, while Murray has been a runner-up at the year's first Grand Slam twice, including a loss to Djokovic in the 2011 final.

Thursday's semifinal was no contest from the start.

Djokovic broke for a 3-2 lead and captured the first set in just 29 minutes. He broke twice in the second set and three times in the third to complete the demolition.

"At this stage of a tournament, playing the semifinals against somebody that I have respect for, great competitor, and being able to perform as well as I did, it's incredible," said Djokovic about his effort. "I have a great feeling about myself on the court at this moment. Now I have two days off before the final, which gives me enough time to get ready, and recover."

Ferrer conceded each of the seven break points against his serve and didn't earn a single break point against Djokovic's dominant serve. In all, Djokovic won 85 points and Ferrer just 41.

"I didn't have any chance to win tonight," said Ferrer. "Nothing else. Only can I say is Novak, he was better in all the moment than me."

Ferrer, the world No. 5, has yet to reach a Grand Slam final in his career, falling to 0-5 in major semifinals. He lost in the semis of this event in 2011 and last year reached the final four at the French Open and U.S. Open.

Djokovic, meanwhile, will play in a Grand Slam final for the eighth time in the last 10 majors, dating back to the 2010 U.S. Open. The only two misses in that span were the 2011 French and last year at Wimbledon, when he lost in the semifinals at each event.

On Sunday, Djokovic will try for his sixth career major championship. He won just one last year, as he followed up the Aussie Open crown with a loss to Rafael Nadal in the French final, a loss to Federer in the Wimbledon semis and a loss to Murray in the U.S. Open title match.

Djokovic improved to 10-5 lifetime against Ferrer, including 5-0 in their Grand Slam meetings and 3-0 at the Australian Open. Djokovic won both previous Melbourne encounters in the quarterfinals, also in straight sets.

As far as his potential competition in the final, Djokovic is 13-16 all-time against Federer and 10-7 versus Murray.

"I'll be ready for whoever I play against," Djokovic remarked. "Whenever I play Andy or Roger or Rafa, the top rivals, it's always small margins and small details decide a winner, especially at this stage of a tournament."

The Federer/Murray matchup will occur for a 20th time. Murray owns a 10-9 lead in the series, but is 0-3 lifetime against the 17-time major champion in Grand Slam events.

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