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“Look, you know, in these conditions, at this stage of the tournament, when you’re playing somebody like David, somebody that has great shots from both sides from the baseline, makes you always play over five to 10 shots in the rally, your physical strength and endurance comes into question,” Djokovic calmly explained of his on-court demeanor. “Actually I’m not concerned about that at all.

“I’m really fit and I have no concerns of recovering for the next match.”

That may not be how Murray’s new coach, Ivan Lendl, sees it. Lendl has been working with Murray this month, trying to help him break his Grand Slam title drought - the Briton has lost three major finals without winning a set, including the past two in Australia.

Lendl lost the first four Grand Slam finals he contested, before winning eight of his next 15.

He was doing some scouting Wednesday night at Rod Laver Arena, sitting about 15 rows behind the Djokovic group, surrounded by people waving Serbian flags. He couldn’t have missed the sideways glances from Djokovic to his support crew, or the fact that he sat down in a line judge’s chair when Ferrer challenged a line call. Murray and Djokovic have been playing each other since they were 12, and know each other so well they sometimes hit together and kick a soccer ball around.

But they haven’t been on the same side of a Grand Slam draw for a while. Murray said he always seems to be drawn with Nadal, while Djokovic and Federer have frequently been on the same half.

Murray said he’s not necessarily more relaxed in Australia, “just more used to being in this position because of the experience.”

“Definitely have more experienced than I had at this point last year because I played deep in the Slams the last five or six of them.”

To him, the prospect of not playing Nadal in the semis “doesn’t make a huge difference.”

“Not like the match on Friday’s going to be easy, because Novak’s obviously playing great tennis,” he said. “It doesn’t change too much.”

Nadal and Federer will play on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night, with the Australian great in attendance - partly to celebrate 50 years since he completed his first Grand Slam of winning all four majors in 1962.

The “Big 4” have reached the semifinals of the last two Grand Slams, and three of the last four. But it needs to be put into perspective: that has only happened twice before at the Australian Open, in 1988 and 2005.

And if it’s any omen for Federer and Murray, No. 3 Mats Wilander beat No. 4 Pat Cash in the ‘88 final and No. 4 Marat Safin beat No. 3 Lleyton Hewitt in the ‘05 final.

It’s only the 14th time since the Open era began in 1968 that the top four seeded players reached the semifinals in a major.

The top three have 30 Grand Slams between them. The rest of top 10, based on the pre-Australian Open rankings, had none.

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