Djokovic to face Federer after easing past Nishikori

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Novak Djokovic will face Roger Federer in a mouthwatering Australian Open semi-final after dismissing Kei Nishikori in straight sets on Tuesday.

Defending champion Djokovic comfortably beat seventh seed Nishikori 6-3 6-2 6-4 to reach an eighth-consecutive grand-slam semi-final and remain on course for a sixth title at Melbourne Park.

While Djokovic's unforced error count was well short of the century he posted against Gilles Simon in the last 16, Nishikori was not without his opportunities, but he proved wasteful as the world number one cruised into a last-four meeting with third seed Federer.

Nishikori looked comfortable until the sixth game of the opening set on Rod Laver Arena when, up 40-love, he committed four consecutive unforced errors to gift Djokovic the break and a 4-2 lead.

Djokovic then fought back from 0-30 down to serve out the set thanks to another unforced error from Nishikori.

It was already desperate times for Nishikori in the second set after Djokovic broke in the opening game before the top seed fended off two break points to consolidate.

Even when Nishikori thought he had a point wrapped up, Djokovic somehow found the speed and precision to thwart the world number seven, who watched on in awe as his opponent raced into the net to earn a double break and a 4-1 lead with a delightful backhand.

And that appeared kill any chance of a Nishikori comeback as Djokovic swiftly racked up a two-sets-to-love lead.

Nishikori then went off court for a medical timeout, seemingly to address a groin problem, but he emerged with renewed hope, breaking for a 2-0 advantage early in the third.

Nishikori's joy was short-lived, however, after he dropped serve the very next game, though the pair continued to exchange breaks as Djokovic levelled proceedings at 3-3.

But Djokovic broke again in the seventh, which proved decisive as he then coasted to victory.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Djokovic [1] bt Nishikori [7] 6-3 6-2 6-4

ACES

Djokovic - 6

Nishikori - 9

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic - 22/27

Nishikori - 31/54

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic - 6/11

Nishikori - 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Djokovic - 57

Nishikori - 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Djokovic - 65/66

Nishikori - 59/40

TOTAL POINTS

Djokovic - 99

Nishikori - 74