Novak Djokovic produced some of the best tennis of his career and wasted little time in advancing to his third successive Australian Open final with a 6-2 6-2 6-1 destruction of fourth seed David Ferrer in 89 minutes on Thursday.
The world number one was in no mood to allow Ferrer the opportunity to come back from a two-set deficit as the Spaniard did against compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals, and blasted him off court.
"I was aware of David's qualities; I wanted to be aggressive on the court and this was definitely one of the best matches of my career," said the 25-year-old Serbian, who is seeking to become the first man in the professional era to win three successive Australian Open titles.
"He is one of the most respected guys on the tour. He is such a great competitor and has been around for years
"He is experiencing some of the best form of his career but tonight I just played incredible."
Ferrer will rise to fourth in the world after the tournament but the 30-year-old said before the semi-final that he was rising that high only due to a long-term injury to compatriot Rafa Nadal and that there was still a gap between himself and the 'Big Four' of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Nadal.
Djokovic underlined that statement in emphatic fashion with his performance on Thursday, making it appear that he was playing the 400th-ranked player in the world rather than a man who won seven titles in 2012 and had been to four previous grand slam semi-finals.
He dominated when on serve, often rattling through games to love, and put immense pressure on the Spaniard by stepping in, taking the ball early and keeping him on the back foot.
In the fourth game of the third set, he battered Ferrer's serve and broke to love, with the game point coming when he blasted a backhand cross court and pumped his fist in the air.
"You need to focus on every point and even though I was two sets up I didn't want to give him any points," Djokovic added.
Djokovic will meet the winner of Friday's semi-final between second seed Roger Federer and third seed Andy Murray in Sunday's final.
"I wouldn't give the role of favorite to either of them," Djokovic told ESPN of the Federer-Murray semi-final. "Whoever I play I will be ready."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)