(REUTERS) - Champion Novak Djokovic foiled a stirring fightback from Roger Federer to defeat the Swiss 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at the Australian Open on Thursday and charge into a fifth successive Grand Slam final.
Storming to a two-set lead within an hour, Djokovic appeared destined to complete a stinging humiliation but the net-rushing Federer responded brilliantly in the third as a partisan crowd roared him on at a flood-lit Rod Laver Arena.
In a fourth set rivened by tension, Djokovic broke Federer in the eighth game and served out the match to love in 2hr 19 min.
The world No. 1 will bid for a record sixth title at Melbourne Park in the professional era, and will meet the winner of second seed Andy Murray and 13th seed Milos Raonic who play in the second semi-final on Friday.