February 19, 2018

Federer into Australian Open semi-finals

25 January 2018, 09:16 | Randolph Howard

Federer makes light of day shift to ease into last eight

Australian Open: Roger Federer defeats Marton Fucsovics to reach quarter-finals

The South Korean-who becomes the first of his nationality to reach this stage of a Grand Slam, per the U.S. Open-dropped sets against both those opponents but failed to do so as he romped to a 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-3 straight-sets win against Sandgren, whose own fairytale run had to end so Chung's could continue.

Chung is the first is the first Korean to reach a grand slam semi-final.

The defending champion lost the opening three games against Berdych and trailed 5-3 in the first set.

It is the 11th time Federer has reached the final four of a slam without dropping a set and, with Rafa Nadal out of action, he is clear favourite to win a 20th grand slam title and sixth Australian Open.

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic was stunned in straight sets by Hyeon Chung only hours after Tennys Sandgren upset No. 5 Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open.

Chung is the youngest man into a semi-final at Melbourne Park since Marin Cilic in 2010, and as the world No.58 he's the lowest ranked Australian Open semi-finalist since Marat Safin made the final four ranked 86th in 2004.

"Whoever wins, I'm playing".

"I felt the level of pain was not that high that I needed to stop the match, even though it was compromising my serve", he said after his defeat.

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"I think it will be a long match with a lot of long rallies". He had never beaten a top-10 player until No4 Alexander Zverev in the second round. Federer who is the number two seed will also have to play well against Tomáš Berdych who is the nineteenth seed.

In November, Chung won the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals championship - an event to showcase tennis' upcoming players - and he has carried on that form in the season's first grand slam in Melbourne. "I have to think about the ceremony, something", Chung said, explaining how he let his celebrations get slightly ahead of the result.

However Federer came right back with a string of winners to hold his serve, with Berdych unable to make an impression. Federer roared "Come on!", Berdych seemed to grieve in silence.

The win over Fucsovics was Federer's first day match of the 2018 tournament, and he joked about needing sunglasses and a towel for the beach but said really the only change was to set the alarm for a different time. Past year when Federer won his two Slams, there was no Djokovic in the way, and that could very well have been the only man stopping him.

"I don't know if we keep playing in this very, very hard surfaces what's going to happen in the future with our lives".

Federer plays Chung on Friday. He knows that he has a tough opponent in Čilić but is confident that he can go all the way.

"It's not my hip, but I can't tell you exactly the muscle", a despondent Nadal told reporters after he limped slowly into his post-match press conference in obvious discomfort.

"We have changed some technical things on his serve, which he's a lot more comfortable with now", said South African Godwin, who ended his partnership with big-serving compatriot Kevin Anderson previous year.

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