Roger Federer Breezes Into Semifinals of the Australian Open With Straight Sets Win

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Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates match point in his quarterfinal match against Mischa Zverev of Germanyon day nine of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Roger Federer’s great run continued Wednesday night as the four-time Australian Open champion routined Mischa Zverev 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 32 minutes to reach his 13th semifinal in the last 14 years in Melbourne. At 35-years-old, Federer becomes the oldest man into a semifinal in Melbourne since Arthur Ashe in 1978.

Federer was right from the off against the German, taking the opening set 6-1 in only 19 minutes, one minute shy of the tournament record. the 17-time Grand Slam champion held nothing back, slapping winners left and right past Zverev, who continued to employ his serve-and-volley tactics.

The second set, however, was much more competitive as the world number 50 went toe-to-toe with the world number 17. Zverev even broke Federer midway through the set, yet the Swiss got back on serve before taking the set 7-5.

The third set was much of the same as Federer used a late break to seal his victory. In the end, Federer hit 65 winners as compared to only 13 unforced errors, a remarkable statline.

Federer spoke following the match: “I’m pleased with the way I started the match,” Federer said after the match. “Right away again got off to a great start against him, like I did against him a few years ago. After that, naturally everything’s easier. It was a nice match. I think I played great. Mischa had a wonderful tournament, so well done to him.

“I’m happy I played as well as I played,” Federer said on the court after his match. “Never thought I’d play as well as I did here. I am still standing.”

Zverev also addressed his magical run to his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal: “Of course, it’s a positive,” Zverev said. “First time I’ve ever been in a quarter. There’s a lot of positive things I can take with me, hopefully take with me through the whole season, use the confidence to do well in many more tournaments to come.

“I think, yeah, it was a great 10 days in Melbourne,” the German continued. “I really enjoyed it here. The whole family was there. I played, I think, decent tennis.”

Federer’s semifinal opponent will be his countryman and 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, seeded 4th. Federer has dominated their rivalry 18-3, including a win in the 2015 U.S. Open semifinals while one of Wawrinka’s three wins came at a major, the 2015 French Open quarterfinals, a tournament he would go on to win.

Federer spoke about his compatriot reaching the last four and playing him: “If someone would have told me I’d play in the semis against Stan, never would I have called that one for me,” Federer said. “For Stan, yes, but not for me. I honestly didn’t even know a few days ago that he was in my section of the draw or I’m in his section.”

This is the first all-Swiss semifinal in Australian Open history and if form holds up, it should be a brilliant affair. The match will take place on Thursday.

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