Novak Djokovic expects a hard game against Roger Federer.
Novak Djokovic expects a hard game against Roger Federer.

Djokovic knows there's a big battle ahead

ROGER Federer still loves the game as much as he ever did.

Lleyton Hewitt did as well, but he realised he was no longer competitive against the best players in the game.

So while Hewitt ended his career with a second-round loss to Spaniard David Ferrer at Melbourne Park, Federer is still going strong, into the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the 12th time where he will come up against world No.1 Novak Djokovic tonight.

While the Serb is a clear favourite to win the match - which would take his head-to-head record against Federer to 23-22 - the Swiss ace said he still believed he could beat anyone in the men's game.

"It's part of the reason why I guess I'm still playing," he said. "I feel like I'm competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour."

He did beat Djokovic three times in 2015, but none of those were in a Grand Slam.

On the two occasions they did meet in the four majors - in the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open - Djokovic won both times.

The top seed struggled in his fourth-round win over Frenchman Gilles Simon, but was at his best in the 6-3 6-2 6-4 quarter-final win against Japan's Kei Nishikori. He knows anything less than that against Federer won't be good enough.

"Roger is playing really terrific tennis," Djokovic said after beating Nishikori. "He's got great defence, amazing offence.

"He's very complete.

"This is going to be a big challenge for both of us. I'm expecting a great fight."
 


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