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  • Novak Djokovic [2] b. Roger Federer [3] 7-6(1) 6-4 6-3
  • Sofia Kenin [14] b. Ashleigh Barty [1] 7-6(6) 7-5
  • Garbiñe Muguruza b. Simona Halep [4] 7-6(8) 7-5
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Sofia Kenin became the youngest Australian Open finalist since 2008. She will meet Garbiñe Muguruza. In their 50th match-up, Novak Djokovic beat a struggling Roger Federer to reach his 26th major final

 

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Novak Djokovic [2] b. Roger Federer [3] 7-6(1) 6-4 6-3

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Novak Djokovic reached his eighth Australian Open final, claiming the sole ownership of the all-time record for most title-matches in the tournament’s history.

Renewing for the 50th time their historical rivalry, second on the list for most Tour-level match-ups in the Open Era, the Serbian controlled the game comfortably as Roger Federer looked clearly nowhere near his best in terms of movement.

Djokovic uncharacteristically lost his serve twice in his opening service games, but when he broke back with the Swiss serving for the first set, the momentum shifted. He managed to dig himself back into the match and neutralised Federer’s forced strategy. The No.3 seed needed to anticipate and go for his shot off the backhand side, not to be forced to hit on-the-run forehands as he struggled to put weight on the right leg.

Djokovic stayed in the rallies, moved him around and easily built a two-sets lead. Only once in 221 times, he squandered such an advantage, at the 2010 Roland Garros in the quarter-finals against the former Austrian Top 10 Jurgen Melzer. Federer had no chance to add his name to the list.

The Serbian will play his 26th major final bidding to seal his eighth Australian Open title. Winning his 17th Grand Slam crown, he will start his fifth stint as World No.1 in the ATP rankings.

READ MORE | Tennis | Australian Open 2020 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

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Sofia Kenin [14] b. Ashleigh Barty [1] 7-6(6) 7-5

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Sofia Kenin became the youngest Australian Open finalist since 2008 thanks to her 7-6(6) 7-5 win over world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, who was looking to become the first Australian woman to reach the final here since 1980.

An on-fire Kenin claimed her second straight victory against her after four consecutive defeats. The American produced the same focused, solid performance showed in Toronto last year when she beat Barty for the first time. Under a scorching sun, the American saved set points in both sets against the error-prone Australian.

Kenin counter-attacked fiercely while Barty looked affected by tension and pressure on crucial points. She knew she had to change pace and deliver some shorter balls, but she lacked a reliable solution to kill the point shortly. In the end, that made the difference.

 

Garbiñe Muguruza b. Simona Halep [4] 7-6(8) 7-5

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Garbiñe Muguruza continued to shine in her return to her peak form. In a clash between two former World No.1 players, the Spaniard advanced to her fourth major final thanks to a 7-6(8) 7-5 victory over No.4 seed Simona Halep.

Muguruza, now owning an 11-1 record since the beginning of the season as she reached the semifinal in Shenzhen and withdrew before the quarter-finals in Hobart, will return to the Top 20 next week.

The Spaniard has never lost to Halep on hard-court. Helped by 39 winners to her opponent’s 20, she completed her fourth overall victory over the Romanian and maintained extended her 4-0 record in their head to head on this surface.

The 2016 Roland Garros and 2017 Wimbledon champion came 30 times to the net and won two-thirds of those points. Evidently, she now feels secure enough to use consistently the tactic that the former coach Sam Sumyk had so often invited her to apply in the past.

Attempting to celebrate her third major title, the Spaniard will face Kenin for the second time in her career, having lost to the gritty American in Beijing last year.

The Women’s Final takes place on Saturday night at 7:30am (8:30am GMT).

 

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