Melbourne: World No. 2 Novak Djokovic remained on course to a record extending eighth Australian Open title after beating World No. 3 Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-final on Thursday at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Federer raced to a three set lead in the first set before Djokovic came back to take the first set. He maintained the momentum and in the end, the scoreline read 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3 in Djokovic's favour. The 32-year-old will now face either Alexander Zverev or Dominic Thiem, who will play their semi-final tie on Friday.
The first set lasted well over an hour with Federer winning the first two games. This was followed by consecutive breaks with both players winning sets on each other's serve before Federer held and took the score to 4-1 in his favour. Both players managed to hold on their serve in the next two games before Djokovic broke Federer twice in three games to take the score level to 5-5. Federer broke back and Djokovic did the same in the next game to take the set into the tie-breaker.
Djokovic rattled away the first three points before Federer got one back. However, the Serb rode the momentum and took the tie-break 7-1. Djokovic had won the set after being down 4-1, 40-0.
Federer took a medical break in the interval while Djokovic's physician also tended to him courtside.
Djokovic held the first game comfortably and made Federer work to level things up in the second. Federer managed to keep up until 4-4 after which, Djokovic held and broke to take the set 6-4.
In the third, Federer managed to take just three sets as Djokovic sealed his place in the final. He remains on course to winning his 17th Grand Slam title, putting him two behind Rafael Nadal's record and three behind Federer.