Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer Preview

Shane LambertAnalyst IIJanuary 24, 2012

Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicQuinn Rooney/Getty Images

The 2012 Australian Open men's quarterfinals will conclude on Day 10 with Novak Djokovic facing David Ferrer for a spot in the semifinals.

Djokovic enters the match as the favorite to win, but Ferrer has experienced a degree of success in the past against the Serb. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series, but only by a tally of 6-5, and two of Ferrer's victories have come on the hard-court surface.

The last time these two players met was not long ago, as Ferrer defeated a tired and battle-worn Djokovic at the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals in convincing straight sets.

But Djokovic is clearly not as tired now as he was back in London a couple of months ago. Because of that, there may not be much insight to gain from how things went when the two last met.

What is insightful is the fact that Djokovic is clearly the better big-stage player. He's won his quarterfinal matchups in Grand Slam competition no less than 13 times already, including six straight entering Melbourne Park.

Ferrer has made the semifinals of Grand Slams before, including last season at the Aussie, but he has only won two quarterfinal matchups.

The players have met in Grand Slam competition on two occasions, and in both matches Djokovic came away with a straight-sets victory—including one in the 2007 Australian Open quarters.

The world No. 1 will know better than to take his talented opponent lightly, and Djokovic should move on to the semifinals for the seventh straight Grand Slam.

The match is scheduled for Rod Laver Arena in the evening session on Day 10 (7:30 p.m. Melbourne Time).