Roger Federer is just one step away from his first Grand Slam final in 18 months, after he demolished giant-killer Mischa Zverev yesterday to set up an Australian Open semi-final with Stan Wawrinka. He said in press that even with two days off before Sunday’s final, his title chances could be tough, especially if Rafael Nadal handles Grigor Dimitrov in Friday’s semifinal, which would give the sporting world what they want in a fourth Federer-Nadal meeting down under, the previous three all won by Nadal.
There was a time a few year’s back when you could basically bet your house on Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal reaching the semi-final of a Grand Slam, with the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic filling the other two spots.”I feel like I have all the tools to go further and my job isn’t over yet”, he said. But here is Federer with his own chance at 18, continuing a career of wonderful grace, once again playing as handsome a game of tennis as any man or woman has ever played.”I’ll leave it all out here in Australia”, he added. Like Wawrinka had done two sets earlier, Federer took a medical timeout to treat a leg issue, he revealed after the match had been bothering him all tournament. “I just said: You know what?””Everything happened so quickly, I had to check the score after the match was over”. His serve looks good, his one-handed backhand is creating special opportunities and his forehand on the run is better than it ever was in the last 3 years.Wawrinka continued his awesome run and looked poised to get one of the sets back as he broke once more with the momentum running in him, getting a big 5-1 lead as Federer failed to regain the rhythm on his forehand.
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Wawrinka held break point in Federer’s 1-all and 2-all service games, but it was Federer who snagged the lone break of the final set when Wawrinka capped a awful 2-3 game with a double fault.Federer has the edge over Wawrinka holding an 18-3 record.Clearly struggling and with nothing to lose, Wawrinka let loose in the third set – and it seemed to catch Federer by surprise, whose level visibly dropped.Federer got the precious break late in a first set arm wrestle to take a one set to love advantage. Tape around the knee. The slower ball suits his big strokes, and he wasted no time in proving why in emphatic fashion.The loss of serve was compounded by a double-fault on break point. His first round match against the Serbia’s Martin Klian was a 5-setter but he had no speedbumps in beating a world class opponent like Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in straight sets in the quarterfinal.To get to the final, the former world number one had to oust Stanislas Wawrinka, and he did so in five sets, winning the clash 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3. This is Federer’s sixth final in Melbourne where he has previously won four titles. “He (Federer) was playing way better than me, moving really well, really aggressive from the court”. “I felt Stan had the upper hand from the baseline in the fifth set”.