The last time Roger Federer met Novak Djokovic in the semis of a major, Federer lost (at the 2010 U.S. Open). The last time they met at the semis of the Aussie Open, he lost (in 2008, when Djokovic would go on to win the tournament). So Djokovic, understandably, feels like he's got "nothing to lose" heading into yet another semifinals showdown with his occasional nemesis:
“Coming in here I was physically prepared, mentally motivated to make some success,” Djokovic told a news conference. “So I have nothing to lose playing Federer, who’s the title defender here. We all know everything about him. I have to believe in myself in order to win that match.”
OK, that, and play perfect tennis, something Federer credits himself with not doing last year at Flushing Meadows:
“Well, the U.S. Open was a close match,” Federer told a news conference. “I guess I should have won really. I was playing good enough to win.”
That's as much trash-talking as you'll hear from two guys who bring it all to the court and leave it there.
So where should you lay your bets? Federer's on a hot streak where Djokovic is concerned, besting him three times in ATP play since the U.S. Open, the last in straight sets at the semis of the World Tour Finals in November. But if Djokovic wins, he might say funny things on television. So conflicted!