Federer will bounce back 'big style', says Djokovic | india | Hindustan Times
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Federer will bounce back 'big style', says Djokovic

The 20-year-old Serb knocked out 12-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the semi-finals, ending his reign Down Under and sparking talk of a changing of the guard in men's tennis.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2008 20:13 IST

Newly-crowned Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has predicted Roger Federer will bounce back "big style" after taking the Swiss master's title at the season-opening Grand Slam.

The 20-year-old Serb knocked out 12-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the semi-finals, ending his reign Down Under and sparking talk of a changing of the guard in men's tennis.

But third seed Djokovic dismissed the notion that the Federer era was over after coming from behind to beat unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the decider at Melbourne Park.

"No, I don't think so, no," Djokovic said, after winning his first Grand Slam title.

"It's not possible that only one tournament is changing history.

"Of course, I mean, I played amazing tennis here, so I think I absolutely deserved to win, even against him in the semi-finals, he accepted it in the right way.

"He's going to come back in a big style, of course. He's still planning to be the best player in the world, so we all know how good is he. We are going to see a lot of him, of course, this year."

When asked what was the crucial element which allowed him to score a Grand Slam breakthrough in Australia, Djokovic, who lost to Federer in last year's US Open final, joked: "I didn't play Roger."

Djokovic halted the Swiss star's record run of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals and it was his first semi-final loss since going down to Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open.

Federer, 26, a three-time champion at Melbourne Park, had been unbeaten in 16 matches at the Australian Open since his epic five-set loss to Marat Safin in the 2005 semi-final.

The Swiss star, who has ruled as world number one for a record 209 weeks, had mitigating reasons for being down on his peerless form after a delibitating virus forced him to miss an important lead-in event.