Roger Federer beats Mischa Zverev in straight sets to reach Australian Open semi-final
Last Updated: 24/01/17 5:37pm
Roger Federer's quest for Grand Slam title number 18 continues after a 6-1 7-5 6-2 victory over Germany's Mischa Zverev in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
The Swiss great was once again in imperious form to brush aside Andy Murray's conqueror in just over 92 minutes with a dominant display to reach his 13th Australian Open semi-final and continue the resurgence of the veteran this year following Venus Williams' victory earlier in the day.
Federer also becomes the oldest man to reach the last four in Melbourne since Arthur Ashe in 1978 but, unlike the American great, Federer will have his sights set on the title after exceeding all expectations so far.
"I'm happy. I played as well as I could in this tournament. I never thought I would be this good. Here I am still standing in a semi-final to play Stan," Federer said in his on court interview.
Australian Open - Men's Draw
|Roger Federer (17)||v||Stan Wawrinka (4)|
|Rafael Nadal (9)||v||Milos Raonic (3)|
|David Goffin (11)||v||Grigor Dimitrov (15)|
"It couldn't be cooler for the both of us. I can't wait.
"I thought I might win a few rounds, depending on the draw, maybe fourth round or quarters. That was my call.
"He is a clutch player now. At the US Open he proved it again, he's won a slam for the last three years.
"At Davis Cup, when it was important he was right there for me, for us, for Switzerland.
"For me to play against Stan I've got to stay aggressive, the more time I give him the better he is. He's the biggest hitter we have in the game right now.
"I'm happy for him to have gotten this far but he doesn't need to go one step further."
Zverev's serve and volley game had caused world number one Murray all sorts of problems but despite a brief second set flurry from the world number 50, Federer neutralised his threat from the off with a blistering 19-minute opening set.
Moving with all the grace and purpose of a man 10 years younger and taking advantage of Zverev's early nerves, 35-year-old Federer reeled off the opening five games in no time at all with strong serving and spectacular returning.
Zverev stopped the rot but it merely delayed the inevitable as Federer took the first set before the German struck early in the second breaking to love for a 3-1 lead that looked like it may turn the tide.
It was not to be though as Federer broke straight back to level and then struck a crucial blow in the 11th game of the set when he broke again to lead 6-5 and then close out the set behind his dominant serve.
An early break in the third set put Federer on course for a straight sets triumph and when he edged an epic seventh game to take a 5-2 lead, he was all but home.
Zverev forced only his second break point in the next game, but Federer kept his cool to save the need for an additional game and wrap up the win that keeps his astonishing bid for glory rolling.
Despite his advancing years and injury forcing him to miss both the French and US Opens last year, Federer has now reached the semi-finals of the last four Grand Slam events he has played as he looks to add to his legendary status at the top of the game with 17 major titles.
Federer's last Slam title was at Wimbledon in 2012 when he beat Andy Murray to claim the crown and standing in his way of a first Melbourne final since he claimed the trophy in 2010 will be fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
The pair have not met since the 2015 World Tour Finals semi-final when Federer won in straight sets and it is Federer who leads the head-to-head (18-3) between the Davis Cup team-mates.
Despite Wawrinka's form over the last couple of years, Federer has also won five of the last meetings including wins at Wimbledon, Flushing Meadows and The O2 while Wawrinka's sole triumph in that time was a straight sets French Open quarter-final success.
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