Djokovic hits top gear to reach final

TOP FORM: Novak Djokovic celebrates beating David Ferrer

TOP FORM: Novak Djokovic celebrates beating David Ferrer

First published in Sport

NOVAK DJOKOVIC powered into another Australian Open final after crushing David Ferrer with what he described as “one of the best performances of my career”.

The Serbian was in irresistible form as he swept aside the fourth-seeded Spaniard 6-2 6-2 6-1.

He goes into Sunday’s final against either Roger Federer or Andy Murray knowing a win will see him make history as the first man in the Open era to win three Melbourne titles in succession.

And on this evidence few would back against him.

‘‘It can only do positive things for my confidence,’’ said the world number one following his 89-minute masterclass.

‘‘Playing against the world number four and someone I have great respect for... and to be able to play as well as I did was incredible.

‘‘This was definitely one of the best performances of my career.’’ Asked if he can play better, he said: ‘‘I don’t think so, I played incredible tennis.

‘‘I felt very comfortable and very confident from the start.

‘‘I don’t expect myself to always play this well. But hopefully I can maintain this level in the final.’’ The five-time major winner will head into Sunday’s showdown in better shape than last year when he had to battle through an epic lastfour clash with Murray before going to on to beat Rafael Nadal in a final which lasted seven minutes short of six hours.

He added: ‘‘I prefer being fitter for the final (this year) than I was in 2012.

‘‘It’s quite different circumstances that I have to face this time.’’ Ferrer is regarded as one of toughest players on the ATP Tour to break down, yet he was swept aside by the world number one who was on top of his game from the outset.

Blazing winners from all angles of the court, he made the fourth seed look like an also-ran.

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