Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer, Australian Open 2013 men's semifinal preview

Julian Finney

The defending champ's bid to repeat will have to go through the red-hot Spaniard.

No. 4 seed David Ferrer had a difficult time advancing past the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Australian Open, but he'll face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal round just the same. The Spaniard went the distance with fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro and ended up on top, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 .

Djokovic had an easier time of making his way to the semifinal round, defeating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, a No. 5 seed, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The Australian Open is Djokovic's best event of the four Grand Slams, having won the event three times, most recently coming away with the 2012 title.

The defending champ will have his hands full, however, as Ferrer enters the tilt playing some of the best tennis of his career. The 30-year-old reached three semifinals in Grand Slam events in 2012, and will look to earn his first Grand Slam victory.

Djokovic and Ferrer will open the evening session at Rod Laver Arena, starting at 7:30 p.m. local time or 3:30 a.m. in the eastern United States. ESPN 2 will have the broadcast in the US.

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