As was expected, 13-time Australian Open champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will fight for the place in the final in Melbourne, with both scoring the quarter-final victories on Tuesday. Two great champions took different paths towards the 50th meeting on the Tour, with Djokovic beating Milos Raonic in straight sets while Federer had to endure torture against Tennys Sandgren in five sets.
Following that tough victory over John Millman, Federer had to play against seven match points in the fourth set against the American, producing a miracle escape to prevail in five sets and stay on the title course, keeping his perfect record in the Australian Open quarter-finals alive.
Unlike Federer, Djokovic held everything under control against Milos Raonic, creating 16 break chances and converting two to gain the opening two sets, prevailing in the third set tie break to advance into the last four. Speaking about the next challenge, Novak dropped huge praise on Roger, having massive respect for everything he has achieved in the previous two decades.
Once again, Djokovic emphasized the fact of how the matches against Federer and Rafael Nadal have made him a better player, mentioning that extraordinary feat that Roger achieved against Sandgren and hoping to create at least one match chance against the Swiss in a couple of days.
Novak saved two match points to topple Roger in the last year's Wimbledon final while Federer won their clash at the ATP Finals that pretty much cost the Serb the year-end no. 1 spot. "Obviously, I have tremendous respect for Roger after everything he has achieved; he has been one of the all-time greats and of my two main rivals.
Matches against Roger and Rafa have made me a player I am today; I'm grateful to experience so many great clashes against them and I hope to get at least one match point against Roger in a couple of days. It was quite amazing what Roger did on the court today and it is not the first time that he produced that; that's why he is who he is. Let the better player win between him and me!"