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Novak Djokovic produced tennis Roger Federer would have been proud of in his prime as the world number one outclassed the Swiss master again to reach his sixth Australian Open final.
Djokovic blew Federer away during two stunning opening sets on Rod Laver Arena and while the 34-year-old recovered to snatch the third, it proved only a consolation as the Serb won a pulsating contest 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3.
It means Djokovic now leads the pair's head-to-head for the first time 23-22 and he goes through to meet either Britain's Andy Murray or Canadian Milos Raonic in Sunday's final.
Djokovic had given his rivals hope after two lacklustre displays against Gilles Simon and Kei Nishikori but the top seed was back to his very best here and will now be strong favourite to clinch his 11th major crown.
For Federer, his wait for an 18th continues and despite playing brilliantly against the rest of the field, it may never end while he keeps running into Djokovic, who has now won their last four grand slam meetings.
"Definitely I played unbelievable first two sets but that's what's necessary against Roger," Djokovic said.
"He's been playing at a very high level, he had dropped only one set and I knew he'd be aggressive, mix up the pace and come to the net.
"I came out with the right intensity, great concentration and executed everything perfectly. A two-set lead is more comfortable but it was a battle in the end."
As British tennis No.1 Johanna Konta secures herself a place in the Australian Open semi-finals we take a look at what we know about her.Read the full story ›
Andy Murray has beaten David Ferrer 6-3 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open.Read the full story ›
Great Britain's Andy Murray has beaten Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
British No.1 Johanna Konta has secured a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals after beating Ekaterina Makarova in three sets (4-6 6-4 8-6).
Konta becomes the first British woman to make it to the last eight of a Grand Slam since 1984.
"Mentally, emotionally, physically, I left it all out here on court," Konta said.
"I tried to hang in there and just run after every ball and keep fighting. That's all I can do and fortunately I was able to capitalise on some opportunities and close out in the end."
Novak Djokovic described it as a day to forget after the Serb made 100 unforced errors in his battling five-set win over Gilles Simon at the Australian Open.
Djokovic was far from his metronomic best at Rod Laver Arena as he missed 51 forehands, 48 backhands and was broken four times.
Simon, however, was unable to capitalise as the world number one dug deep to grind out a 6-3 6-7 (1/7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory and book a quarter-final match-up with Japan's Kei Nishikori.
"I was obviously pleased to win the match. The last point counts. But in terms of the performance itself, I haven't done well at all," Djokovic said.
"I honestly didn't expect to make this many unforced errors. In terms of a level that I've played, it's the match to forget for me."
Andy Murray has made almost half as many unforced errors (63) in his opening three matches put together as Djokovic managed against the Frenchman.
Asked if he could remember a similar performance, Djokovic said: "Not even close. No, I don't think I've had any close number to a hundred.
"But, again, there is a first time for everything."
Kyle Edmund has secured a place in the main draw of the Australian Open following Richard Gasquet's withdrawal.
When the entry lists were released earlier this month, British number three Edmund was three spots outside automatic qualification.
But world number nine Gasquet, who is suffering with a back injury, has joined Juan Monaco and Australian youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis in pulling out of the year's first grand slam, which begins on January 18th.