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Djokovic Thrashes Ferrer to Reach Tenth Career Grand Slam Final

Novak Djokovic walloped David Ferrer in straight sets for his 20th consecutive Australian Open victory, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1

By Chris Oddo

Djokovic Australian Open 2013 (January 24, 2013) -- It was decisive. It was awe inspiring. It was flat-out dominant. Novak Djokovic turned in his most polished, powerful match of the Australian Open when he absolutely overwhelmed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday night in Melbourne.

The one hour, twenty-nine minute drubbing was the Serb's briefest encounter of the tournament, ensuring that he'd be well rested for his tenth career Grand Slam final on Sunday night.

"I have a great feeling about myself on the court at this moment," Djokovic told reporters. "Last year I played five hours in the semis and only had one day and a half to get ready for another six hours with Nadal. This year it hasn't been the case and I am glad."

Djokovic, winner of 20 consecutive matches at the Australian Open, will await the winner of tonight's second semifinal between Andy Murray and Roger Federer for Sunday's final.

"I didn't have a chance for win tonight," said a typically succinct Ferrer afterwards. "Nothing else."

Djokovic was on fire from the onset, hitting blazing winners in the rallies with business-like crispness. The Serb lost only two points on serve in the first set, and he broke Ferrer to move ahead 3-2, then won the final three games on the trot.

It was more of the same in the second set. Djokovic was relentless in every facet of the game, and Ferrer's best shots only seemed to play right into the Serb's hands. Djokovic converted on both his break points and won 30 of the 45 points contested.

In the third set, Djokovic won 26 of 37 points, cracked 12 winners and converted on all three break points he faced.

All Ferrer could do was shake his head and keep trying, but nothing seemed to make a difference. It was a performance reminiscent of Djokovic's finest days, when the Serb rose to the top of the ATP rankings, winning 41 consecutive matches to start 2011.

It seemed like he could do no wrong against Ferrer, and he never took his foot off the accelerator.

Even Djokovic was blown away by the result.

"It can only do positive things to my confidence," said Djokovic afterwards. "Definitely at this stage of a tournament, playing semifinals against the World No. 4... being able to perform as well as I did, it's incredible."

Djokovic now leads the career series with Ferrer 10-5, and with the victory he has become the sixth man in the Open Era to reach four Australian Open finals, and the 12th man in the Open Era to reach ten Grand Slam finals.

With 20 consecutive wins in Australia, Djokovic has also guaranteed possession of the No. 1 ranking after Australia no matter the outcome of Sunday's final.

He'll play for his sixth career Grand Slam on Sunday. "Just considering myself, I'll be ready for whoever I play against," he said. Given his performance in tonight's semifinal, that much has already been made abundantly clear.

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/ Corleve)


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