Novak Djokovic eased past Milos Raonic in straight sets in the quarterfinals to set up a semis clash with Roger Federer at the ongoing Australian Open. The world number two won 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(1) to extend his unbeaten streak against Raonic to 10 matches.
Djokovic, who is eyeing a record-breaking eighth Australian Open title, looked at his usual best and was vicious with his serve. The Serbian’s return was equally devastating for Raonic to handle as he cruised past the latter in the first two sets with very limited challenges.
The third set, though, witnessed a great upliftment of Raonic’s game. Djokovic failed to convert four break points in a marathon 11th game. But an error from Raonic in the tiebreaker gifted him the chance to take advantage and eventually seal the victory with a cross-court backhand return.
“I felt great on the court and I was very focused. The first couple of sets went exactly how I wanted them to go, with one break in each set. I felt comfortable in serving. I felt my return was key, how many balls I could get back into place, and the second key was hitting my spots. I was fortunate to get out of trouble in the third set and I played the perfect tie-break,” Djokovic was quoted as saying on the official website of ATP Tour.
In the semifinal, the 16-time Grand Slam winner will next face Roger Federer who defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-3. Federer staged one of the greatest escapes of his 22-year long career to reach the semifinal as he saved seven match points.
I have tremendous respect for Roger and everything he has achieved in the sport. The match ups against Roger and Rafa are the reason I am the player that I am today. I am grateful I’ve had so many matches against those guys. It’s amazing what Roger did on the court today and he’s done it a number of times in his career. Let the better player win,” Djokovic said.