Federer, Djokovic to meet in Australian Open semifinals

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Novak Djokovic (L) of Serbia and Roger Federer of Switzerland pose ahead of the men's single's final at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, Nov. 22, 2015. Djokovic won 2-0. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
Novak Djokovic (L) of Serbia and Roger Federer of Switzerland pose ahead of the men's single's final at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, Nov. 22, 2015. Djokovic won 2-0. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Roger Federer scraped through to an Australian Open semifinal matchup with Novak Djokovic, while Sofia Kenin and Australia’s Ashleigh Barty also booked their places in the final four on day 9 of competition.

Federer survived seven match points against unseeded American Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3, with the Swiss master proving once again that he has multiple lives at this tournament.

In the previous round, Federer won six consecutive points to claim a match tiebreak against Australia’s John Millman, and showed similar survival skills to walk away victorious once again.

“I think I got incredibly lucky today,” Federer said in a post-match interview.

“I was just hoping that maybe he wasn’t going to smash a winner. If he misses one or two match points, who knows what’s going to happen?”

Federer will be joined by defending champion Djokovic, who beat Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

It will be the 50th meeting for the two greats, with Djokovic winning 26 of their past encounters compared to Federer’s 23.

Meanwhile, Barty beat Czech player Petra Kvitova, 7-6 (6), 6-2, while Kenin brought an end to Tunisian Ons Jabeur’s historic run, winning 6-4, 6-4.

Jabeur is the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a major singles tournament, beating former Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki and China’s Wang Qiang in so doing.

With renewed confidence, Jabeur said she will continue to pursue her dream of one day winning a Grand Slam.

“I was also looking to myself to win a Grand Slam event before, but now I think I’m closer. I think I can believe more in my dream,” she said.

Meanwhile, Barty’s chances of winning a Grand Slam on home soil improved following a powerful performance against Kvitova.

The two-time Wimbledon champion had ended Barty’s run to the finals in Melbourne last year, but this time the local hero flipped the script, becoming the first local woman to earn a place in the Australian Open semifinals in 36 years.

“I knew I had to bring my absolute best today against Petra,” Barty said after the match.

“In my eyes she’s the perfect competitor, regardless of whether she wins or loses she’s always got a big grin on her face. I absolutely love testing myself against her.” Enditem

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