Australian Open 2017: Roger Federer Wins To Set Up Stan Wawrinka Semi-Final
Four-time champion Roger Federer coasted into the Australian Open semi-finals with a straight-set defeat of unseeded Mischa Zverev in 92 minutes.
The 35-year-old reached the last four in Melbourne for a 13th time with a 6-1 7-5 6-2 win over Zverev, who upset world number one Andy Murray on Sunday.
Federer, seeded 17th as he seeks an 18th Grand Slam title, faces compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the last four.
Fourth seed Wawrinka beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-2.
Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2014.
The 31-year-old has since added victories at the French Open in 2015 and the US Open last September, and is rated by many as the favourite in Melbourne following surprise defeats for Murray and Novak Djokovic.
Impressive Federer breezes through
Federer, playing his first competitive event since Wimbledon six months ago following a knee injury, brushed aside Zverev with the minimum of fuss.
He blitzed through the first set in just 19 minutes, and soon levelled in the second when he was broken by the world number 50.
Federer won 23 of 32 points at the net (72%) as he reached his 41st Grand Slam semi-final.
“My expectation was not to play Stan Wawrinka in the semis. I thought maybe I could get to the fourth round or quarters – that’s what I told the Swiss press,” he said.
“For me to play against Stan I have to play aggressive, the more time I give him the better he is. I’m happy he’s got this far but he doesn’t need to go a step further – Stan knows I’m joking.”
Federer is the oldest men’s singles semi-finalist at the tournament since Arthur Ashe in 1978, and the oldest at any Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors reached the 1991 US Open last four aged 39.
Wawrinka edged a tight opening set against Tsonga, with the pair exchanging words after the tie-break.
“What did you say? You’re the one looking at me and talking to me. What are you looking for?” Wawrinka said to Tsonga in French. “Come on, let it go. Did I look at you once?”
It appeared as though Tsonga was fighting back when he finally broke serve to lead 4-3 in the second set, but Wawrinka snuffed out the danger with two successive breaks for a two-set lead.
An early break was enough to give Wawrinka the final set and he closed out a straightforward win to reach an eighth Grand Slam semi-final.
On the possibility of facing friend and compatriot Federer, he said: “Playing in a semi here is always special – I won my first Grand Slam here in front of amazing fans. If it’s against Roger, I hope a few will cheer for me.”
Asked about the exchange after the first set, Tsonga replied: “Sometimes it happens. We can talk during the game. Nothing special, yeah.
“We just spoke about things that I think is only between him and me, and that’s it.”
Wawrinka added: “You can have some tension during the match between players. Sometimes it can happen. Most important is that after the match it’s all good.”