• Australian Open, Day 11

Djokovic not taking sides for Murray v Federer

ESPN staff
January 24, 2013
Novak Djokovic was in blistering form against David Ferrer © Getty Images

Novak Djokovic insists he will not be taking sides during Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final against Roger Federer, but will be hoping the pair are embroiled in a lengthy battle on Friday.

The world No. 1 powered past David Ferrer in straight sets to remain on course for a third straight title at Melbourne Park.

As well as having the benefit of an extra day's rest on his final opponent, Djokovic only required 89 minutes to see off Ferrer 6-2 6-2 6-1.

The Serb, who survived a marathon five-set semi-final against Murray last year before defeating Rafael Nadal in a gruelling final, admits he is delighted to save energy ahead of Sunday's showdown.

"I definitely prefer being fitter for the final and having a little bit more time than I had in 2012," Djokovic said. "It's quite different circumstances that I have to face this time. You know, last year I played five hours in semis and had only a day and a half to recover for another six hours with Nadal.

"This year it hasn't been the case, and I'm very glad. I was pushed to the limit in the fourth round. Had some really physically tough matches in this tournament, and I'm glad that I went through it. Right now I feel great on the court."

When asked if he would like to see a long, drawn-out encounter between Federer and Murray on Friday, Djokovic replied: "Yeah, sure. Why not?

"It's going to be a great match, obviously. They're great rivals and also the best players in the world at this moment. They will definitely perform their best for sure in semi-finals. I wouldn't rate anybody as a favourite. Just considering myself, I'll be ready for whoever I play against."

While Djokovic insisted he did not mind who he would face in the final, he admitted he would be taking notes on his potential opponents as well as enjoying the encounter as a fan.

"I think it's logical that I watch it with more attention because I'm going to play the winner of that match," Djokovic added. "So I'm going to do analysis and make the notes, as you say, and see whoever I play against to get the right tactics for the match.

"I love tennis. Tennis is my life. I'm not just a player; I'm also a fan of this sport. I love to see these big matches. When Federer and Murray and Nadal are playing, those are the special kind of matches in grand slams."

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