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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.

Bernard Lagat reminded of Atlanta Games at U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

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ATLANTA — As 45-year-old Bernard Lagat sat inside a hotel overlooking Centennial Olympic Park, he spoke one sentence that prefaced the start of his Olympic journey more than two decades ago.

“We are doing this in a special place,” he said of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which finish at the park on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Lagat is an underdog, but has a chance to make a sixth Olympic team by placing in the top three. He can break his own record as the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history.

Lagat was reminded this week of the Atlanta Olympics that got away.

In 1996, the Kenyan-born runner was coming off his freshman year at Jomo Kenyatta University Agriculture and Technology in Nairobi. He studied mathematics and computer science.

Lagat debuted at the Kenyan Olympic Trials. He remembered finishing seventh in the 1500m, having exhausted himself by clocking a 3:37 semifinal.

“They had fancy shoes, nice clothing,” he said of the pros. “Me, I was like hand-me-down spikes.”

Lagat’s coach at the time, Nganga Ngata, arranged for him to transfer to Washington State later that summer. But first, Lagat watched on TV the Olympic 1500m final — famous for then-world-record holder Noureddine Morceli and current world-record holder Hicham El Guerrouj making contact at the bell; El Guerrouj fell, Morceli won.

Days later, Lagat headed to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. He was to fly to the United States for the first time, embarking on a journey that would lead to U.S. Olympic teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016 after he represented Kenya in 2000 and 2004.

Before a 21-year-old Lagat boarded his flight, he encountered a reception. The Kenyan Olympic team was arriving back from Atlanta after collecting eight medals, including in every men’s distance-running event.

“They had all these celebrations, traditional milk and the gourds,” Lagat said. “Oh, it was amazing. … That fire, seeing them coming home with medals, and I thought, I want to be like those guys.”

Lagat went on to earn eight combined Olympic and world championships medals between the 1500m and 5000m. Lagat qualified for one last Olympics on the track in 2016, going from sixth place at the bell to win the trials 5000m. He was fifth in Rio.

Then he turned to the marathon. Lagat has raced two of them. He clocked 2:17:20 in New York City in 2018, saying he was “running blind” with inexperience. He ran 2:12:10 at the 2019 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia, ranking him outside the 20 fastest Americans in this Olympic cycle.

Lagat went back to Kenya last month to train for the trials with the likes of world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge. Lagat soaked up so much that he likened it to a six-week school term.

At one point, Lagat was part of a 30km training run with Kipchoge. By the end he rounded a bend and saw the Olympic favorite just 60 seconds ahead.

“You think about Eliud being 60 seconds ahead of you in a 30K?” an incredulous Lagat said. “I thought, I’m done. Now I can buy my flight and go back to USA. I’m ready.”

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Chris Lillis, after missing Olympics, back atop aerials podium

Andrey Kulagin
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U.S. men’s aerials skiers had gone four years between World Cup victories. Now, they’ve won back-to-back events.

Chris Lillis prevailed in Kazakhstan on Friday, six days after Justin Schoenefeld ended the U.S.’ longest men’s victory drought since aerials became an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Lillis, the 21-year-old brother of 2017 World champion Jon Lillis, landed a double full-full-full in the super final to score 121.27 points. Full results are here. He beat a field that included Schoenefeld (sixth place) and his older brother (14th) but lacked the world’s best from China and Russia.

“That was definitely one of the best jumps of my career,” Chris Lillis said. “Moving forward I’m feeling deadly.”

Chris has earned back-to-back World Cup podiums, his first top-three finishes since missing the PyeongChang Olympics with a torn ACL.

Also Friday, American Megan Nick finished second in the women’s event for her second runner-up this season. The last U.S. woman to win a World Cup was Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018.

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