Djokovic sets up Ferrer clash

22 January 2013 10:50:50 EST

Novak Djokovic said he was expecting "a long one" when he takes on David Ferrer in the semi-finals of the 2013 Australian Open.

The world number one showed no signs of fatigue from an epic against Stanislas Wawrinka to beat Tomas Berdych 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 in the last eight at Melbourne Park and will now retain his place at the summit of the men's game even if he does not win the title Down Under on Sunday.

Top seed Djokovic is aiming to become the first man in the Open era to win three successive Australian Open crowns and can be backed at 4/7 to complete his mission. He is also available to back at 1/12 in the match betting to make the final, with Ferrer currently priced 7/1 to beat Djokovic for the first time since 2011.

Ferrer showed his own powers of recovery earlier when storming back from a two-set deficit to save three match points in a breathless victory over countryman Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic has won the last five meetings straight against Ferrer, including in the semi-finals of the 2012 US Open and at the quarter-finals stage of this competition last year, but said he was anticipating a strong challenge from the world number five.

The Serbia superstar said: "He is one of the most respected guys on the tour because he never gives up. He is one of the fittest guys around and I am expecting a long one."

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