Tennis

Can Fab Fed upset Super Serb Djokovic?

At 34, Federer says he's still having fun, but another Slam will do just fine, if Djokovic allows it!

He's 34 and he's still at the top of world tennis.

Swiss legend Roger Federer's last Major win was at Wimbledon in 2012 and, since then, his semi-final opponent today, Novak Djokovic, has accumulated five of his 10 Grand Slam titles, plus another five finals appearances.

"It's part of the reason why I'm still playing. I feel like I'm competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on Tour," said the Swiss, after trouncing Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.

"It's nice now that in the last three Slams I've been as consistent as I have been. I'm playing good tennis, fun tennis for me anyway.

"So I'm very pleased. It would mean a lot to me, no doubt about it."

So the question lingers on: Does the ageing Federer still has it in him to master Djokovic?

Defending champion Djokovic and No. 3 seed Federer will square off in a modern tennis classic when they take to Centre Court in the first men's semi-final at the Australian Open today.

At stake is a shot at history.

Both are bidding to equal Australian Roy Emerson's record of six titles, set in the pre-Open era and their head-to-head count is tied at 22 wins apiece.

Federer, who lost five of his eight matches against Djokovic last year, is in arguably the better form, dropping just one set in five matches en route to his mouth-watering clash with the Serb.

Federer will be the sentimental favourite with the Australian crowd, who revere the Swiss for his past exploits on Rod Laver Arena where he has won four Australian crowns.

World No. 1 Djokovic has dropped a set more than the Swiss, but has never lost in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Djokovic came back strongly after making 100 unforced errors against Frenchman Gilles Simon in the fourth round to down No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

The tally of 44 matches between Djokovic and Federer is the second highest in the Open era, beaten only by the 47 between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and the Serb credits his two biggest rivals for his dominance of recent years.

"These two guys made me the player I am today. These rivalries have allowed me to grow... And understand what it takes to be on the level that they are on," he said.

"Roger always makes you play your best. My best is what is going to be necessary to win against him.

"We have played so many times against each other.

"There's a lot of tension. There's a lot at stake. I'm expecting a great fight."

So is the tennis world.

- Wire Services.

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