Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic go head-to-head for the 50th time on Thursday night, with the winner progressing to the Australian Open final.
Four of their previous 49 matches have been at the Australian Open, with Djokovic holding a 3-1 lead. Federer won their first encounter in 2007, but his Serbian rival has responded with three straight wins to take complete control of their Australian Open meetings.
2007 | R16: Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 6-2 7-5 6-3
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had already faced off on two previous occasions, but they met for the first time at Grand Slam level at the 2007 Australian Open. Back then, Federer was still very much at the peak of his powers, while a teenage Djokovic was still looking to establish his feet at the topmost level. Unsurprisingly, Federer scored a dominant 6-2 7-5 6-3 victory to move into the quarter finals. The Swiss went on to win the title, beating Fernando Gonzalez in the final..
2008 | SF: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 7-5 6-3 7-6
One year after their first Australian Open meeting, Federer and Djokovic went head-to-head again in 2008. A lot happened within that year- the 20-year-old Djokovic had embarked on a furious climb up the men’s ladder. He made at least the semi-finals in each of the three previous majors, advancing to his first final at the US Open, where he lost to Federer.
They met again a few months later in Melbourne, and this time, the tables were turned as Djokovic took down the great Federer to reach back-to-back Grand Slam finals. The Serbian defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the title match to claim his maiden major title.
2011 | SF: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 7-6 7-5 6-4
After meeting at the Australian Open in back-to-back years, Federer and Djokovic didn’t square off again until 2011, when Djokovic scored a 7-6 7-5 6-4 victory.
Federer led 5-2 in the second set, but Djokovic, showing all of his powers of recovery, fought back brilliantly to take the next five games, and with it, a two-sets to love lead. The Serbian went on to claim the match in straight sets, before beating Andy Murray in the final to win his second major and his first since that 2008 triumph in Melbourne. That set the tone for a stunning 2011 season, during which the Serbian won three of the four Grand Slams.
2016 | SF: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3
Djokovic made it three straight Australian Open wins over Federer in 2016, beating the Swiss 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the semi-finals. It was the first match between these two that had hadn’t finished in straight sets. Yet again, the winner of this tie went on to win the title, with Djokovic taking down Andy Murray in the final.
Djokovic vs Federer is live from Melbourne on Thursday, 30 January from 7:30pm local time/ 8:30am GMT. Read the full match preview.