Australian Open: Djokovic on another level


That Novak Djokovic has almost double the rankings points of the world number two tells the story.

As the Serbian showed once more in his semi-final win over Roger Federer, he is the best - and by a long way right now.

He has reached at least the quarter-finals at 27 consecutive grand slams.

He has won nine of the previous 20. He has been a finalist in 15 of the 20.

Djokovic was flawless early in his victory against Federer, just as he was throughout in his win over Rafael Nadal in the Doha final.

That performance, Nadal said, was perfection, and for good reason. After all, 30 winners and 13 unforced errors - while serving incredibly well - will take some stopping.

Djokovic came into the year's first grand slam in that kind of form, having completed 2015 with three major titles to take his tally to 10.

The letdown came in Melbourne against Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman was only able to take advantage to the extent of pushing Djokovic to five sets.

It mostly continued into the quarter-finals, yet this time Kei Nishikori failed to reach any great level.

The chances of Djokovic putting in a third straight under-par performance were low, and Federer was made to pay.

He barely made a mistake early before evening out and closing in four sets.

Djokovic, who is aiming to join Roy Emerson on a record six Australian Open titles when he faces Andy Murray on Sunday, is 56-6 in Melbourne.

Beginning with his maiden major crown in 2008, he is a frightening 53-3.

Every time he has reached the semis in Melbourne, he has gone on to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

World number two Murray has been his victim four times at the Australian Open, including in three finals (2011, 2013, 2015).

Just how long the 28-year-old can prolong his dominance remains to be seen, given his physically-demanding style.

"Whether or not I'm going to be dominant in the years to come, I don't know. I cannot give you an answer on that," Djokovic said.

"I can try to do my best to try to keep playing on this level."

That level, right now, is well and truly beyond everyone else's.