Four-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer trumped unseeded MIscha Zverev to cruise into the semi-final of the grand slam event, setting up an encounter against fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
The 17-time grand-slam winner won against Zverev 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 on day nine of the Australian Open, in a punishing match that lasted just 92 minutes — with 65 winners and only 13 unforced errors.
While Zverev did not perform badly after the match in which he bested World No.1 Andy Murray, he was thoroughly outclassed in the first set — which lasted just 19 minutes — up unto Federer’s final classy forehand winner that left the German rooted to the baseline.
As Federer is now the oldest player to reach a slam semi‑final since Jimmy Connors, then 39, did so at the US Open in 1991. The Swiss Maestro will also be the oldest semi-finalist here in Melbourne, breaking the record set by 34-year-old Arthur Ashe, in 1978.
However, he was surprised as he did not expect to go so far in the tournament after a six-month hiatus through injury — it was also his first competitive return after last playing at Wimbledon in July.
“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,” Federer said.
“I will probably never be able to play 27 tournaments a year any more, we all know that,” he added in reply to how long he thinks he can extend his illustrious career.
“But, maybe instead of playing 22, you play 18, instead of 20 you play 17. That could totally happen. You always need the right balance, I feel like, enough practice, enough matches, enough time off. I guess as you get older, everything becomes a bit different.”