• Australian Open

Djokovic reveals Ferrer game plan

ESPN staff
January 23, 2013
Novak Djokovic has vowed to burst out of the blocks against David Ferrer © AP

Novak Djokovic is determined not to give David Ferrer time to settle in their Australian Open semi-final on Thursday.

The two-time defending champion remains on course for a hat-trick of victories in Melbourne and a sixth grand slam title, although he survived a scare in the fourth round when he scraped past Stanislas Wawrinka.

The world No. 1 recovered from his five-hour marathon to beat Tomas Berdych 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 and reach the semi-finals for an 11th successive major.

Standing between Djokovic and a fourth Australian Open final is the tireless Spaniard Ferrer, who came through a gruelling five-set quarter-final against Nicolas Almagro. Djokovic has revealed his game plan - to go out hard and take control of the match from the outset.

"I need to be aggressive on the court, that's for sure," Djokovic said. "I need to step in and try to be in control of the match, otherwise he makes his own rhythm, he makes his own pace on the court. That's where he's very dangerous.

"He's a great competitor. He's somebody that has a lot of respect from all the players because he's playing so many tournaments and works very, very hard. You can see because he's basically in his 30s one of the fittest players around and is playing the best tennis of his life in the last 15 months. It's the semis of a grand slam, so I expect a tough match."

Djokovic paid tribute to his team for helping get him ready for his quarter-final following his exhausting win over Wawrinka.

"I have a great team of people around me that are doing the best they can in their expertise to make me feel ready for physically, mentally, emotionally, every match, every challenge," he said. "Obviously, it's not easy to always be at your 100% fitness. But after a five hour match against Stan, I was quite convinced I could recover for this one. The team did a great job."

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