By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 24, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Novak Djokovic dominated fourth seed David Ferrer on Thursday night to progress through to his third successive Australian Open final.
It was a flawless Djokovic who broke through the dogged Spaniard in the semifinal, the world number one dispensing 30 winners and dropping just 7 points on serve during the 89 minute thumping.
“This is definitely one of the best performances that I’ve ever had in my career.” Djokovic said immediately after the match. “Before the match I was saying that he is one of the most respected guys on the tour you know, he’s been around for many years.
“Well the bottom line is it’s a mental game in the end. You know everybody works very hard. It’s not easy. It’s the semifinals of a Grand Slam and you’re playing one of the top players in the world and you need to focus on every point and even though I was two sets up and four love up I didn’t want to give him any points. I know he’s mentally very strong and he bounces back really really fast if you give him opportunities but, you know, as I said I don’t always expect myself to play this well but I was free in my mind tonight and hopefully I can maintain that level in the finals.”
Djokovic will play the winner of the semifinal between Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the final on Sunday evening. He was asked whether getting some end of year wins over Murray after his five set loss to him in the US Open final will give him an edge should he meet Murray in the final.
“That maybe might mentally help a bit, but it’s not a big advantage. 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.”
“So, you know, it’s finals. It’s really unpredictable who is going to come out as a winner.”
Whoever he plays in the final, Djokovic says he will be prepared for a long battle.
“You know, this two-day break definitely serves me well, you know, physically, mentally, emotionally, so I can get all my strength for that final.”
“I’m gonna be expecting — I have to be ready to expect a five-hour match or five sets. That’s the kind of approach that I have to every single match that I play on on Grand Slams, especially in the second week. No other thoughts than that one.”
“I’m just very thrilled to be able to have another shot at the title.”
Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.