Djokovic lauds 'perfect execution' in beating Federer


Novak Djokovic said he "executed everything perfectly" in the opening two sets of his Australian Open semi-final win over Roger Federer.

Defending champion Djokovic was in ruthless form on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, storming to a 2-0 lead against the Swiss.

Federer fought back valiantly to take the third set but, despite a wobble early in the fourth, the Serb regained his composure to claim a 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory for a place in a fifth successive grand slam final.

The world number one was elated with his early showing, but knew it was required in order to get the best of the 17-time major champion.

"I played unbelievably in the first two sets but that's what's necessary against Roger," Djokovic said.

"He's been playing on a very high level and dropped only one set, so I knew he was going to be aggressive, try to mix up the pace and come to the net.

"I came out with the right intensity, great concentration and I executed everything perfectly. A two-set lead is more comforting but it was a battle in the end.

"It's important to always believe you can play your best and it's important your convictions are stronger than your doubts."

Djokovic now holds the advantage over Federer 23-22 in their head-to-head record, as well as leading Rafael Nadal 24-23, and he believes the competition with the pair has enabled him to reach the highest level in his career.

"Both Roger and Rafa have contributed a lot to my career because of the two rivalries. Playing them [almost] 100 times combined made me a better player," he added.

"I worked very hard to get myself into a position to challenge them and right now I am feeling like I'm in the peak of my career and trying to cherish every moment on the court."