- No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic leads 26-23 against No. 3 seed Roger Federer all-time
- Djokovic has only dropped one set leading up to the semifinal
- Federer saved seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals
Rod Laver Arena will be electric Thursday night as two of the greatest names in tennis gear up for a semifinal showdown.
The defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will take on 2018 Australian Open Champion Roger Federer in their 50th meeting at 3:30 am EST on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Amongst these two champions are a total of 13 Australian Open crowns, with Djokovic holding a staggering record of seven titles.
Federer vs Djokovic Australian Open Semifinal Odds
|Player||Spread||Moneyline||Total at Bovada|
|Roger Federer||+7.0 (-130)||+525||O 33.5 (-125)|
|Novak Djokovic||-7.0 (EVEN)||-800||U 33.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Jan. 28
Federer breezed through his first two rounds of play, but was tested against home favorite John Milman in the third round. Eventually, the Swiss maestro pulled through 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8) but was two points from defeat in the final set tie-break.
In the next round, the 38-year-old had a slow start, dropping the first set against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. However, the match was less dramatic as Federer steamrolled past Fucsovics in the next three sets.
The 20-time grand slam champion showed his mettle by saving seven match points in a nail-biting quarterfinal against American world No. 100 Tennys Sandgren.
Federer, who called for the trainer in the third set (and later a lengthy timeout for his groin), miraculously pulled off the win against Sandgren in three hours and 31 minutes 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6(8) 6-3.
The match was not short of drama as the No. 3 seed was surprisingly involved in a confrontation with the chair umpire and lineswoman on Tuesday.
“Give me a break.”
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) January 28, 2020
The lineswoman notified chair umpire Marijana Veljovic of a German curse word said by Federer and Veljovic handed him an audible obscenity code violation. The veteran was quite agitated by the decision, as well as confused as to how the Serbian official was able to understand what he said.
Djokovic easily dispatched of Canadian Milos Raonic in quarterfinal action with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (1) victory. The Serbian sensation is now 10-0 against the 29-year-old who missed a good portion of the 2019 season due to a back injury.
Overall, Raonic had 18 aces while Djokovic had just four; however, Djokovic was the more consistent player with only 14 unforced errors compared to Raonic’s 48.
After the match, the 16-time Grand Slam champion wore a green jacket with the letters K B and the numbers 8 and 24 with a heart under the numbers. It was clear the 32-year-old was upset about the recent passing of his friend and basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
Known as one of the top service returners of the game, Djokovic has easily disposed of all his opponents leading up to the semifinals, not dropping a set since the third set in his first round match against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Federer vs Djokovic Head-to-Head
|103||Career Singles Titles||77|
The most recent meeting in a Grand Slam was the 2019 Wimbledon final, which was the longest Wimbledon final in history at four hours and 57 minutes. It was a heartbreaker as Federer lost 13-12 in the fifth set.
However, a few months later at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, Federer denied Djokovic as the year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings by beating him in straight sets in a round-robin format.
In the last two years, Djokovic has won three of the four meetings and is 26-23 in their overall rivalry.
Given Federer’s close call against Sandgren, as well as groin pain, the Swiss man will have his work cut out for him with Djokovic.
This will be Djokovic’s eighth Australian Open semifinal appearance and Federer’s 15th – the most ever by a player in event history.
Overall time on court for the first five matches is 12 hours and 38 minutes for Federer and 10 hours and 11 minutes for Djokovic.
Best Bet: Djokovic -800
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