The Australian Open will host another epic clash between Roger Federer and his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic. These two tennis titans will battle in the Open’s semifinals on Jan. 28 and HollywoodLife.com wants you see every single thrilling second. Click to watch!
It’s one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history: Novak Djokovic, 28, versus Roger Federer, 34. These two superstars of the court will meet for the 45th time at the 2016 Australian Open, with the winner getting a trip to the finals and — more importantly — bragging rights.
Roger and Novak are tied at 22 wins apiece in their incredible rivalry and so, the Australian Open semifinal match on Jan. 28 will act as the tiebreaker. The action kicks off at 3:30 A.M. EST (remember, they’re in Australia) so be sure you’re ready to see this awesome battle between two of the sport’s greatest players.
The last time these two met in a semifinal was four years ago at Wimbledon, according to ATP World Tour. Roger won that match, but in the past three Grand Slam meetings, Novak has walked away victorious. In 2015, Novak beat Roger in the US Open and at Wimbledon. Plus, Novak is the defending Australian Open champion and he would love to win back-to-back titles, especially if he beats his rival in the process.
Roger’s plan to beat Novak is to keep the points short, according to Forbes, though it might be a big risk since Novak is one of the best returners and baseline players in the game. “Looking at the stats, it [seems like] an easy thing [to do,]” Roger told reporters after beating Tomas Berdych in the Open’s quarterfinals. “I do feel really good at net since a few years now. I know how it works up there. I still think there’s room of improvement.”
“Roger is playing really terrific tennis in the past two years,” Novak told reporters, per ATP. “He always makes you play your best. My best is what is going to be necessary to win against him. Hopefully I’ll be able to deliver. This is going to be a big challenge for both of us. The longer the match goes, maybe I have a slightly bigger chance. I still don’t think it’s something I can heavily rely on.”
Though Roger won 13 of their first 19 matches, according to ESPN, since 2011, Novak has gone 16-9 against his nemesis. Novak would love to take the lead in this rivalry and go on to win the Open. A tournament victory would tie Novak with Roy Emerson’s record of six Australian Open titles. But standing in Novak’s way is Roger and his desire for victory.
Who do you think will win, HollywoodLifers? Roger or Novak?