Djokovic ready for tense Federer meeting


Novak Djokovic is bracing himself for a tense showdown with rival Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Djokovic and Federer will meet in the final four at Melbourne Park after the defending champion saw off Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2 6-4 on Tuesday.

The world number one and 17-time grand-slam champion have won 22 apiece of their previous 44 meetings, and Djokovic is anticipating another nip-and-tuck encounter on Thursday.

"Any round feels like finals because of the fact that we are big rivals, we played so many times against each other," Djokovic said.

"There's a lot of tension. There's a lot at stake. I'm expecting a great fight in two days."

Djokovic had the edge on Federer in 2015, winning five of their eight meetings with two of those victories coming in slam finals, at Wimbledon and the US Open.

But the evergreen Federer is once again in superb form, having outclassed Tomas Berdych in his quarter-final earlier on Tuesday.

"Roger is playing really terrific tennis in last two years. We played two grand slam finals last year. I know very well how good he plays, especially in the later stages of a major event," Djokovic added.

"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."

Djokovic added: "It's obvious that he's a very complete player. He's trying lately to come to the net more, kind of shorten up the rallies. He definitely has the game for that.

"He's got a great variation from the backhand side with the slice, short slice. He's got great defence, amazing offence. He's very complete. He puts constant pressure on the opponent. You have to be aware at all times. You have got to be tough. You have got to be concentrated.

"You have to be on the top of your game because he hasn't really dropped the level at all I think in the last seven, eight years that I've been playing against him on the top level. He's been playing always consistently well."