Novak Djokovic Outlasts Roger Federer to Stay Dominant in Australia

Djokovic prevailed in straight sets, extending his lead in head-to-head matches with Federer, to earn a place in the Australian Open final.

Comments: 36

  1. Joker can win 50 Grand Slams and he still won't have the grace, style, and artistry of Federer and his beautiful game. Kudos to Federer for playing tonight when he was obviously hurt. He respects the game and the audience, he always has.

  2. Please note that Novak Djokovic is a phenomenally classy, philanthropic, and thoughtful person. He, Roger, Rafa, and others are GOAT-ish representatives of sportsmanship. A true tennis/sports fan has love for all of them. You can not compare the overall level in tennis to football, hockey, baseball, etc., whose news reports are riddled with criminality.

  3. @Amanda Bonner Please. If you can't appreciate Djokovic's athleticism and brilliance, I'm sorry for you. We are privileged to be able to watch the three greatest players of all time - Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic - all playing at the same time. What's truly amazing is all three have distinctly different styles. Of the three, Federer is my favorite, but all three are so good as to defy description. You can't attain that level of excellence without respecting the game and the audience; Djokovic and Nadal no less than Federer.

  4. @Amanda Bonner Amanda get ready for final, Nole is graceful enough and one of the best on court ever. In couple years he will overtake Federer in GS count. Go Nole!

  5. No need to knock Dojo. Although its true that Roger is the epitome of not being only a great tennis player, possibly the greatest, but he is also a fine human being: gracious to others, never finding fault, never giving excuses. Kudos to both.

  6. It would be a better world if politicians emulated the comity exhibited by these two athletes.

  7. It is true that Federer has all the qualities one would want in a GOAT, and that Djokovic does not have them. It is equally true, however, that Djokovic is every bit as good and, according to every measurable statistic, probably better than, Federer.

  8. what qualities does djok lack? he is a true sportsman with a beautiful game.

  9. @Bill Federer has "all" the qualities? Really? He's a sore loser, and way too full of himself for my tastes. Djokovic, on the other hand is a much better sport, and a much more interesting personality. To say he has "none" of the qualities is equally mistaken. I look forward to him surpassing Federer's record in due time, although the head-to-head record, as with Nadal, is the more meaningful metric. Federer piled up his wins before Djokovic and Nadal came into their own, and his dominance diminished greatly thereafter. When all is said and done, he will be #3 of the Big 3.

  10. @Bill IF you had to choose, which player would you choose to watch play? Which player would you want to play like? Which player would you want to emulate on and off the court? Which player......... Your answer tells me who the best tennis champion is

  11. The Fed is well past his peak in his career and is unfair that the public seems to want him to play as well as when he was younger. I think he has provided the sports more than we could ever hope for. His exquisite timing, ballet-like moves, his temperament on the court, his refusal to call for a trainer just on principles are memorable. He loves the game! Simple as that and let us enjoy whatever he wants to do and not lay unreasonable expectations.

  12. My favorite is Nadal but all three deserve kudos. I’m not a fan of Federer, he is not always a gentleman on court. We’re lucky to have the three greatest male tennis players in the world the same time.

  13. @Jane Wolf - Can you give an example of when he wasn't a gentleman?

  14. @Jane Wolf "not always a gentleman"?

  15. @Long Island Dave I can. Just the other night he used profanity and the lines person reported him-then he was seen having words with the ref. Thus, even Mr. Perfect falls from his pedestal once in awhile.

  16. At this stage in Federer's career, I have no expectations other than how glad I am he's still playing for the love of the game because we get to witness his beautiful artistry. The true rivalry at the moment is really between Rafa and Nole. Both are closer in age (and records) and much younger than Roger and both will eclipse his record, but the question is which one of the two will come out on top. Even if Roger retires, I hope the Rafa - Nole saga continues.

  17. If Thiem gets to the finals he has an excellent chance of beating Djokovic. Thiem defeated him at the Nitto ATP match, Roland Garros and Monte Carlo. By the end of one match where Thiem won, Djokovic was shaking his right hand and he said " I never played a guy that hits the ball as hard as Thiem." Thiem took out my favorite player Rafa but I would love to see Thiem hold the championship trophy in Australia. I'm on "Team Thiem."

  18. @susan i wouldn't bet on that.

  19. What a great era for men's tennis - three gentlemen, all absolute top-echelon.

  20. Both Nadal and Djocovick faced several ranked players on their way to QF/SF. The section where Fed played is rigged so brazenly that he reached the SF without playing any ranked player.

  21. @IdoltrousInfidel It's a random draw, so it's a matter of luck, not rigging. Nadal and Djokovic have had their share of easy draws in past tournaments, too.

  22. @IdoltrousInfidel Oh man you are brave to cast a scintilla of mud on the Great One...

  23. for me most epic stat Mr. Federer has NEVER retired from a match NEVER

  24. It would be great if all three of them ended up with about 20-22 majors. Instead of fighting an unwinnable discussion about who is the G O A T, we should simply embrace them as the golden three for collectively dominating the golden era of tennis.

  25. As the sun was setting on a hot day, it was also setting on Roger's career. Today he is arguably in the mix for GOAT, but if Novak wins another 8 or more grand slams, as he very well may, his stature as GOAT may become overwhelming. The only characteristic he struggles with, especially with regards to Roger, is humility. I hope that as he matures this matures in him as well.

  26. @Richard Phelps Delighted that someone finally called D. on his lack of humility. Thank you.

  27. @Richard Phelps Oh for the love of God. What humility? Whatever Nole does is questioned. I see no arrogance in his behavior. Sure he thumps his chest so do most players when they make a great shot or win.

  28. @Richard Phelps This is not true. As between the two I would say Djokovic is way more humble and down to earth. He has a raucous sense of humor and is much more intellectual than either Federer or Nadal but that does not make him arrogant. I would reserve that word for Federer.

  29. Among the cognoscenti, Djokovic, at his peak, was and is the best of the 3. He is considered to have no weaknesses in his game. He is not as naturally gifted as Federer, which makes Federer prettier to watch, but as a former competitive tennis player he is the only one that inspires awe in me. Naturally gifted athletes are amazing, but the ones who can will themselves to victory when faced with terrible odds when they aren't playing well, are truly special. The Wimbledon final last year pretty much provides all the evidence you need. Federer was at the top of his game and Djokovic was off. His return was not working and his serve had deserted him. He was outplayed for most of the match and fought to reach those three tiebreaks. However, the final stat in those 3 breakers for unforced errors: Djokovic-0, Federer-11. That's god like and no amount of talent or training can make someone that mentally strong. That comes from the soul.

  30. @Jonny Walker In the Wimbledon final, Federer's forehand was definitely off, especially his cross-court forehand. He seemed to realize that and rein in his cross-court... until each tiebreaker, when all the most crucial of the unforced errors were cross-court forehands. Sometimes Federer's stubbornness produces wonders; on that day, it produced the narrowest of defeats. A decade-plus ago, Federer's forehand was the best in the game (possible exception: Nadal's), while Djokovic's was his (relative) weakness. Federer's had nowhere to go but decline, while Djokovic more than cleaned up that shot. Now he truly lacks an attackable weakness

  31. It's amazing that all of the Big 3 can make a case for GOAT, but they all play differently. Fed: fluid. Rafa: life or death on every point. Joker: Metronomic but relentless. If only Roger was the same age as the other two - that would've been amazing to watch. It's really never possible to pick a GOAT. In the end, sports is entertainment. So maybe the question is: who do you find to be the most entertaining to watch?

  32. GOAT is impossible to establish. The game - surfaces, racquets, coaches, money available - improves inexorably. Rod Laver was, in my eyes, the best of his time, but also in the same category are Tilden, Kramer, Gonzalez, Sampras. Of the big three, no one stands out as the best of his time. Have to wait for the end of their careers, and even then there may not be a standout.

  33. i prefer to say "the greatest of THEIR time" as, given the great champions of the past, how can one ever know who's the GOAT if they never had a chance to play each other.

  34. I am a fan of the game of tennis. Players come, players go but the game well played by evenly matched experts is a sporting experience of the highest magnitude. Go Jok; Go young guy; make it a five setter!

  35. Alternatively, Federer saw he can no longer withstand those punishing long matches and knowing he would be easily defeated by Djokovic, created a screen (practice indoors, give the impression he was injured, say so after the match interview) to protect the Roger Federer image he has cleverly created; an always kind, optimistic fellow. It has paid off handsomely. I do not believe that is the real Federer. Other players have said so...

  36. To use the word “unlikely” that Federer would win even without his obvious groin injury is to ignore the beauty of sport. It’s the hypothetical which eliminates the reason we watch sports and celebrate great champions - particularly in tennis- using unexpected tactics that might confound an opponent and make the unlikely winner, the champion. Fed - without injury - has earned that from a long career but but been denied it from this journalist.