Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer on Thursday to advance to the sixth Australian Open final of his career, but not before ceding one particularly intense point to Federer.
During the final set of their four-set duel, Federer served, down 15–30. The ensuing eight-stroke rally scattered the players all over the court with Federer eventually pushing the winning backhand down the alley to Djokovic’s right.
Federer said after the match that winning that point ranked in the top 100 points he had ever played.
“It was a nice point and great ovation,” Federer said. “I was very happy I got as much support as I did. It was a cool moment. I wish I was in a better spot in the result, but nevertheless...I’m happy to pull those shots off, of course.”
Watch the video of the point below:
Djokovic complimented his opponent on his performance during that point, but noted that he took care to keep the excitement from rattling him.
“Yeah, I remember that point,” Djokovic said. “I thought I’m going to end up the point with a smash, but it didn’t happen. His defense was terrific that point. After it was done, I had to just forget about it and focus on the next point. Managed to return two very good returns and pass him on the net. That was a crucial break. I know that if I drop my level or concentration or allow myself to get distracted by anything that he would take the first opportunity, jump on me, and just take the lead of the rallies. That's what he has done in the third.
"He just waits for a little drop from his opponent. That's why he's been so successful throughout his career....Of course, there was a lot of excitement from the crowd, as well, towards the end of the third set. Then of course they got into it. It was a great atmosphere. But, you know, I’ve played in these particular situations before, and managed to use that experience.”
Djokovic ultimately won the match 6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3 to advance to the final. He will play either Milos Raonic or Andy Murray for the Australian Open title on Sunday.
- Erin Flynn