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End of an era: Djokovic sees off Federer in Aussie semi-final

Serb through to final to face Murray or Ferrer as Federer without a Grand Slam title for the first time since 2003.

Image: Andrew Brownbill/AP/Press Association Images

NOVAL DJOKOVIC BEAT Roger Federer to move into the Australian Open final and leave the Swiss master without one of the four grand slam titles for the first time since 2003.

Rafael Nadal was also beaten last night by compatriot David Ferrer.

It means Sunday’s final will be the first at a major in three years not to feature either the Spaniard or Federer.

Djokovic, who was quite superb in winning 7-6 (7/3) 7-5 6-4, will face either Ferrer or Andy Murray in the decider.

Federer threatened first by bringing up a break point in Djokovic’s first service game but the Serb escaped danger with some big groundstrokes which had the Swiss scrambling. It proved to be the only break chance in the first set as the serve dominated.

Djokovic was certainly holding his own in the baseline exchanges, however, after targeting the Federer backhand. But he could not find a way through and the set went to a tie-break in which the world number three was more pro-active and deservedly took it 7-3.

Federer hit back in the second set and established a 5-2 lead but Djokovic’s determination helped him to draw level at 5-5.

The momentum had swung once more and it was no surprise when the Swiss was broken again after dumping a weary-looking backhand into the net, with Djokovic holding serve to open up a two-set lead.

Djokovic’s intensity did not dwindle in the third set and and he broke through for a 2-1 lead which soon became 3-1.

Former world number one Federer threatened to get back on level terms by bringing up two break points in the eighth game. Djokovic saved the first with a booming ace out wide but he could not stave off the second as the ball looped up nicely off a net cord and Federer put it away from mid-court.

At 4-4 the set was back in the balance but Djokovic quickly regained the upper hand by breaking Federer to 30 – and after a few late nerves, the Serbian served it out.

Here’s some Blair Witch-quality footage of the final moments.

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