Australian Open Men’s Semifinal Prediction: Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open

In the 50th instalment of their historic rivalry, world #2 Novak Djokovic will take on the man one place behind him in the rankings, Roger Federer, for a place in the Australian Open final. Between them, the pair have won 13 of the last 16 titles at Melbourne Park, with the Serb accounting for seven and the Swiss six. We here at Last Word on Tennis will be analysing this match up and offering our predictions, with Jim Smith, Nurein Ahmed, Damian Kust, Harsh Bhoot and Yesh Ginsburg giving their pick for this semifinal. Who will advance?

Australian Open Semifinal Prediction

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer

Jim: Djokovic might not have hit the heights yet in Melbourne, but he hasn’t had to, winning through to the semifinals at the cost of just one set lost. Federer, who has faced the easier path on paper, made a great start, but his form has tailed off since and he has twice been taken the distance, by John Millman and Tennys Sandgren. He looked to be feeling the effects of that physically against Sandgren, which would be concerning at the best of times. Against Djokovic, who has never lost a semifinal at the Australian Open and thrashed Federer in their last meeting here, it’s surely fatal.

Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Nurein: The odds are certainly stacked against Federer here. Djokovic has a phenomenal record at the Australian Open, where he has never lost a semifinal or final. Judging by the struggles the Swiss has had to go through in the last three rounds, he is probably running on empty, although he does have 48 hours to try and recover. Nonetheless, expect the Serb to march unscathed into Sunday’s final.

Prediction: Djokovic in 4
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Damian: When this pair meet, the ball-striking is amongst the best of any match up in the game, but the new, slower surface and the fluffier balls certainly give Djokovic the advantage. Moreover, whilst the Serbian is in sublime form, the same can’t be said about Federer. A big question mark here is Federer’s fitness and whether he feels any pain in his groin come Thursday. To beat Djokovic, the Swiss needs to be ready to fight for every ball and I’m not sure he will be. Federer will no doubt once again give it his all, but expect him to come up short against the Serbian’s baseline excellence.

Prediction: Djokovic in 4

Harsh Bhoot: Federer’s health is a major concern heading into the semifinals and if he’s not fully fit this could get ugly. Djokovic had some issues with his contact lenses in the last eight, but that aside it was a Djokovic masterclass. The Serb is serving well and there seems to be no chinks in his armour at the moment. Federer will have to play lights out to have any chance but that looks unlikely against the world’s best returner and counter-puncher. Expect the Serb to be locked in and produce another sublime performance.

Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Yesh: It feels bad picking this, but it’s the only real choice. If Federer’s back is healthy, then maybe we’ll get another classic match out of this. But there’s no reason to think that it will be after his laboured performance against Sandgren. Based off everything we saw last night the only real choice here is an easy Djokovic victory over a hobbled Federer.

Prediction: Djokovic in 3

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12 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I think if Federer is fit on the day , He has got all the chance as we saw in the atp finals if he come all out attack Djokovic has got no chance. All depends on Federer’s health on the day.

  2. Groin injury aside,a healthy Federer will have to play till the fifth set to beat Novak. Federer has enjoyed the benefit of having Millman and Sandgren lose concentration in the biggest moments. Novak will not afford me such luxury.
    Novak Djokovic in 5

  3. lets face the facts federer has done wonderful job here reaching the semis at age 38 however he played two consequitive 5 set matches making it very challenging for him to face a player at the level of Djokovic, well done Federer till now my predictions are Djokovic in 3

  4. Why is Yesh mentioning Fed’s back? Anyone who watched the match against Sandgren knows it was a GROIN issue, not back. Get it right!

    1. Hi, Yesh here.

      Federer described the injury as a groin issue a few hours ago, but when this article was published there was no official word. It was either a lower back or thigh or groin. Could have been any of them.

  5. Novak in 3 sets comfortably. No stopping for him. The fact that Nadal is eliminated might motivate him further to go for the kill and surpass Federer’s magic mark of 20 GSs

  6. Djokovic is surely the favorite. Federer does not seem to be in best form. But Federer may have gotton some mental extra energy by Nadal’s defeat. If Federer could win another major title here, he would most probably survive 2020 as the player with most major titles in history. And since yesterday Thiem is a little devil in Nadal’s head (even in Paris). So, Federer will go all-in versus Djokovic (revenge for Wimbledon). And even Djokovic is not a machine and could have a bad day.

  7. Djokovic is any day better and has more beautiful strokes than Federer any day. No matter how hard he tries Fed is always in tears. Must need ECT.

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