Australian Open 2016: Men's quarterfinals, Day 1
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer won their respective matches to set up a blockbuster semi-final clash.
Roger Federer bt Tomas Berdych
3rd seed Roger Federer beat the younger 6th seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets – 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 to progress to the semi-finals of the Australian Open – a title the Swiss has won four times in the past.
The win saw Federer cement his 12th semifinal appearance at the Australian Open in 13 years.
Federer hit 48 winners to Berdych’s 27, and was only really challenged in the first set, during which Berdych broke first to take a quick lead from Federer, who then proceeded to break him right back for a 4-2 lead, one that Berdych would not be able to make up for.
Thereafter, it was a clinical performance from the Swiss, who put his legendary cross-court coverage on display and with 16 winners in that set, won it easily.
Momentarily in the third set, Berdych looked as though he could be making a late charge, and up a break over Federer.
But that would not last for long. Federer managed to equalize his Czech opponent at 4-4 in the course of the set, and then broke Berdych for a lead that he would not manage to cover.
Winning the final set 6-4, Federer cleaned up the 6th seed in two hours and 16 minutes. Click here for the highlights.
Missed any action from the Australian Open? You can rewatch the highlights of all the matches on SonyLIV.com.
Novak Djokovic bt Kei Nishikori
Top seed and reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic took on a resurgent Kei Nishikori at the day’s other quarter-final.
Djokovic has been in brilliant nick, but came into his match against Nishikori on the back of a win that was scored despite a whopping one hundred unforced errors. In that match, French ace Gilles Simon took the Serb to 5 sets before the No. 1 ultimately won.
Expectedly outclassed by Djokovic, Nishikori committed 14 unforced errors, but managed to take somewhat of a late charge in the final set, leading the Serb 3-1 at one point.
Unfortunately, the Japanese ace squandered that lead completely, with Djokovic breaking back to go 3-3 and Nishikori managing only a single game thereafter, as Djokovic finished the match off at 6-4 in the final set.
With that win, Djokovic set the stage for arguably the biggest match of the tournament, even though it is not the final: Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic – who have played 44 matches against each other, each winning 22.
If you’ve missed the match, you can catch the highlights here.