Djokovic praises ailing Federer after sweeping into final

Novak Djokovic paid “huge respect” to old rival Roger Federer Thursday after he swept past the ailing star and into a record eighth Australian Open final to move closer to his 17th Grand Slam crown.

In the 50th instalment of one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, the Serb shrugged off a tentative start to reinforce his recent dominance, showing no mercy to the injury-hit Swiss maestro in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-3 win.

He will play either fifth seed Dominic Thiem or seventh-ranked German Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final, but it will take a monumental effort to prise another title from the 32-year-old.

Of the seven Melbourne finals Djokovic has made, he has won them all.

Novak Djokovic paid “huge respect” to old rival Roger Federer Thursday after he swept past the ailing star and into a record eighth Australian Open final to move closer to his 17th Grand Slam crown.

In the 50th instalment of one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, the Serb shrugged off a tentative start to reinforce his recent dominance, showing no mercy to the injury-hit Swiss maestro in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-3 win.

He will play either fifth seed Dominic Thiem or seventh-ranked German Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final, but it will take a monumental effort to prise another title from the 32-year-old.

Of the seven Melbourne finals Djokovic has made, he has won them all.

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