Australian Open SF expert picks: Djokovic vs. Federer

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be facing each other for the 45th time in their careers during Australian Open semifinal action on Thursday. A four-team panel previews the action and makes its picks.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (3) Roger Federer

Ricky Dimon (The Grandstand)Federer toppled Djokovic at the World Tour Finals last fall, but that came during round-robin action when Djokovic knew he would have a lifeline in London even if he lost. In the championship match a few days later, the world No. 1 restored order to the proceedings and took care of Federer 6-3, 6-4. The question is: can the 34-year-old Swiss pull off an upset in a pressure-packed match? Even when he was at his very best last summer, coming off a title in Cincinnati, Federer fell to Djokovic in a four-set U.S. Open final. He is still playing well, but arguably not at the same level. Djokovic sprayed a laughable 100 errors against Gilles Simon, but–as expected–that proved to be nothing more than a wake-up call. Djokovic 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5.

Steen Kirby (Tennis Atlantic)Federer has dropped just one set thus far. Djokovic was pushed to five by Simon, but both of these top players look to be in a great form heading into this matchup, and fully healthy and rested to give their best. Federer has been able to compete against–and defeat–Djokovic in recent years on outdoor hard courts, but those wins have come in best-of-three ATP matches. Djokovic is undefeated on the season and has had a decisive edge in best-of-five scenarios against Federer in recent years. With both players in good form, Djokovic should once more have the edge in this match as the true world No. 1. Djokovic 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Pete Ziebron (Tennis Acumen)For years it was a difficult task to defeat Federer in a best-of-five match. He could occasionally be beaten in a best-of-three format, but majors were an entirely different story. Today, it is Djokovic who is near-impossible to defeat on any surface, in any tournament, and in any format. Last year Federer handed Djokovic three of his six setbacks, but all were in the best-of-three format. The last three times they have met in majors have produced some of the more memorable matches in their rivalry, especially in the Wimbledon finals in each of the last two seasons. Each time, Federer played exceptionally well but Djokovic was just a bit better across the board. Expect a similar result again in this, the 45th chapter between two of the greatest players of all time. Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Jared Pine (Second Serb)With the forecast calling for rain, the roof will likely be shut in Rod Laver Arena, which will make the already slow court even slower and making Federer’s attacking style difficult to execute. If Djokovic wins the match, he will have a winning record against Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. The Serb has been the best player in tennis over the last five years. A winning record against Federer would be a huge accomplishment for Djokovic to hang his hat on. Djokovic 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

18 Comments on Australian Open SF expert picks: Djokovic vs. Federer

  1. With the forecast calling for rain, the roof will likely be shut in Rod Laver Arena, which will make the already slow court even slower and making Federer’s attacking style difficult to execute.

    I thought indoors is better for Fed? The statement above is reverse.

    • It probably will mean cooler conditions indoors, hence slower court. Apparently Becker had mentioned to someone that the court plays way slower with the roof closed. Federer’s advantage comes from the absence of wind, he can time his groundstrokes better; but as evidenced from the last few years, he has not distinctive advantage over Djokovic in this regard unless the court is very fast.

      • That is what the ESPN commies were talking about last night when they closed the roof due to an impending storm. They said that it slows down the conditions and it benefited Murray in the match.

        If the roof is closed with Fed and Novak then it should be an advantage to Novak.

  2. I Wish all the best to Fed, either he win or loss, not make difference at this age competing top level. Just watch & enjoy!!He just have to careful to convert breakpoint opportunity, then he win..

  3. RT Genny SS (‏58 minutes ago): “Fed looking at Lubo every single time he’s hesitating to challenge a shot….”

    That’s on-court coaching!

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