Novak Djokovic has emphatically rebounded from the lowest moment of his life by winning the last two sets and setting up an Australian Open final meeting with Andy Murray.
The world No1 broke through for his sixth title this year by fighting back from a set down and then beating the young American Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach a 26th grand slam final.
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“I had to dig deep and I did,” said Djokovic. “I wouldn’t give up. That’s why it’s called playing. It’s called fighting. The team was with me through the whole match and there are many things I can take from it.”
Djokovic had to dig deep again in the third set of the semi-final after two misfiring service games and he overcame a torrid sequence of six service games broken by breaking Querrey in his next three service games to prevail.
The Serb’s steadiness was key to his third major semi-final appearance of the year as he overhauled an injury-marred 6-1 5-7, 6-1 loss to Querrey in the fourth round in Melbourne in January.
“Of course you never try to get ahead of yourself,” Djokovic said after his 3-6 6-4 6-2 victory in a one-hour, 23-minute match. “I have been through some ups and downs throughout my career, with the exception of the four grand slams I won.
Djokovic will play for a hat-trick of majors against Murray, who beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(2) 6-1. “I’m aware that I need to play the perfect match to give myself a good chance of winning,” said Djokovic. “I know the conditions. I know my opponent well. It’s very doable. I just have to believe in myself, and I will do it.”