The small frame of Spain’s David Ferrer on Thursday night stands in the way of world No.1 Novak Djokovic and a shot at Australian Open history.
Djokovic is aiming to book a place in Sunday night’s final, where he would battle either Roger Federer or Andy Murray for a third straight Open title, something no other man has managed in the professional era.
Running machine Ferrer is attempting to reach his first major final.
He’s come close in recent attempts, with this his fourth semi-final appearance in the past six majors, along with quarter-final appearances at the other two.
Djokovic thwarted him twice last year, knocking Ferrer out in the Australian Open quarter-finals and US Open semis.
He has won all four of their grand slam meetings, despite the Spaniard boasting a 5-5 career record against the Serb at tournaments other than the majors.
In the women’s semi-finals, 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens will be seeking another huge scalp, that of top seed and defending champion Victoria Azarenka.
Stephens on Wednesday stunned five-time champion and tournament favourite Serena Williams in three sets.
The other semi-final pits Russian second seed Maria Sharapova, the 2008 winner and last year’s runner-up, against China’s Li Na.
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, made the final at Melbourne Park that yea