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Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic in Australian Open semifinal: How to watch

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The 2020 Australian Open will have its biggest showdown in the classic rivalry between Roger Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic on Thursday night. The two tennis stars face off in the Semifinals for a shot at another major title and a record prize of $4.12 million. Here is what to know and how to tune in for another chapter in the Federer vs. Djokovic rivalry.

When is the match?

The match is set to begin on Thursday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the Australian Open Semifinals?

If you are watching in the US, Federer vs. Djokovic will be broadcast by ESPN and the Tennis Channel. Those with access can enjoy it on TV as part of their usual subscription package.

For those looking to stream, the network’s subscription service ESPN+ will carry the match.

Here are some listings around the globe:

  • Africa: BeIN Sports, EuroSport, SuperSport
  • Asia Pacific & Oceania: ESPN, Fox Sports, Nine, BTV, CCTV, FBC, SINA, GDTV, QIY, NHK, Sky Sports, Sony Six, W_O_W_O_W
  • Canada: TSN, RDS
  • Central Asia: EuroSport, Sony Six
  • Europe: EuroSport, ServusTV
  • Latin America & Caribbean: ESPN
  • Middle East: BeIN Sports, EuroSport
  • United States: ESPN and ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN3 and Tennis Channel

Where is it being played? 

The Australian Open is held in Melbourne, Australia and played at Melbourne Park on a hard surface court.

How much are tickets?

The cheapest ticket for the Australian Open Semifinals Night is currently going for $431.85 at Stubhub, with the most expensive going for $1,446.74.

What road did each player take to get to the Semifinals?

Federer: In the opening round, the Swiss tennis star and No. 3 seed took down American Steve Johnson in three sets. Federer did the same to Filip Krajinovic in the second round, but was pushed to five sets against John Millman in the third round and four sets against Marton Fucsovics in the fourth. Closing out his journey to the Semifinals, Federer took down American Tennys Sandgren in four sets on Monday, January 27.

Djokovic: The Serbian and No. 2 seed in the tournament took a slightly different route than Federer, playing Jan-Lennard Struff to five sets in the first round, but sweeping each of his four remaining competitors to reach the Semifinals.

Who will the winner play in the Finals?

Possibly Dominic Thiem, who upset top seed Rafael Nadal in a four-hour, 10-minute match, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (6). Or it will be Thiem’s semifinal opponent, Alexander Zverev.

What is the head-to-head record between Federer and Djokovic?

Djokovic currently holds the lead against Federer with a record of 26-23. Federer won the previous match between the two at the 2019 ATP Finals tournament, but Djokovic bested Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon Finals and has won 9 of the last 12 against the Swiss legend, dating back to 2015. 

Does Federer or Djokovic have more majors wins?

Federer holds the record for most major singles titles for a male at 20. Djokovic, the 2019 Australian Open champion, is not far behind Federer with 16 major titles.

How many Australian Open titles have Federer and Djokovic won?

Djokovic holds the record with seven Australian Open titles, but Federer is one off of that mark with six.

Australian bush fires

Melbourne hasn’t been as badly affected as Canberra or Sydney by the fires, however, thanks to changing winds air pollution shot up to “hazardous” levels in the week running up to the event.

While the tournament is proceeding as scheduled, umpires have been told to stop play if air monitoring shows it is too dangerous to continue.

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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