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28 Jan, 2020 14:22

Australian Open 2020: Emotional Novak Djokovic sets up epic semi-final clash with Roger Federer (VIDEO)

Australian Open 2020: Emotional Novak Djokovic sets up epic semi-final clash with Roger Federer (VIDEO)

Reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic comfortably defeated outmatched Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals as the Serbian star set up a mouth-watering clash with old rival Roger Federer in the semis.

Djokovic defeated Canadian Raonic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 to secure a comfortable win in a performance that offered a stark contrast to that of his semi-final opponent Federer, who had to battle back from the brink to defeat unfancied Tennys Sandgren, who had seven match-point opportunities against the Swiss ace.

Now two of the biggest stars in tennis will face off in Thursday's semi-final, with the Australian fans hopeful of a match to potentially rival the pair's epic clash in the Wimbedon final six months ago.

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"I hope I get to at least one match point in a few days," joked Djokovic after his victory over Raonic.

"Obviously (I have) tremendous respect for Roger, everything he has achieved in the sport (he's) definitely one of the all-time greats.

"Let the better player win."

Djokovic was so comfortable during his victory that the only issue he experienced was with his contact lenses as he struggled during the latter stages of the contest. Such was the problem, he had to call an injury timeout to get a fresh pair from his players' box before he could continue.

It was an unwanted interruption, and one that Djokovic apologized for after the match.

"I want to apologise to Milos once again," he said.

"It was not intentional or tactical – it was just something that I had to do because those few games I could not really see much and I had to change my lenses."

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Despite the discomfort, Djokovic held his nerve to win the match with ease, but his steel facade started to crack when he paid tribute to the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter accident along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other passengers at the weekend.

"Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of all time and inspired me and many other people around the world," said Djokovic, whose tracksuit top had the initials KB stitched into it.

"I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years and when I needed some advice and some support he was there for me.

"He was my mentor, my friend and it's just heart-breaking to see and hear what has happened to him and his daughter."

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