Federer Advances to 41st Grand Slam Semifinal – Roger Federer arrived in Melbourne with a steeply challenging draw at the 2017 Australian Open. The Swiss maestro continued his amazing run by defeating Mischa Zverev in straight sets Tuesday night on Rod Laver Arena, 6-1 7-5 6-2, in 1 hour 32 minutes. The 4-time Australian Open champion raced out of the gates, dominating the older Zverev brother who upset world #1 Andy Murray in the fourth round. Behind an onslaught aggression of 65 winners across three sets, Federer moved well and handled the German’s serve and volley game with ease.
The 35-year-old Swiss won 68% of points on his first serve and 68% of points on his second serve. While Zverev, known to rush the net often, came to net 70 times, Federer’s relentless pressure, even using his ‘SABR’ tactic, threw off the German’s rhythm. For his own net play, the Swiss won 23 of 32 points.
After the match, Federer reflected on his play and reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open for the 13th time (41st grand slam semifinal). It will be an all-Swiss match, as the 17-time grand slam champion will face 3-time grand slam champion, Davis Cup teammate and friend, Stan Wawrinka.
“If someone would have told me I’d play in the semis against Stan, never would I have called that one for me,” said Federer, who had targeted the quarterfinals before the draw. “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.”
“I like when he puts in a nice volley past me,” Federer said after facing Zverev’s throwback style in quick conditions at Rod Laver Arena. “I just think it’s a nice play, there’s nothing you can do about it. Then you move on. That’s why maybe I stayed as calm as I did today. Maybe it has helped me, too, in my comeback, no doubt about it.”
“I think him and Rafa [Nadal] know my best game,” said Federer, who holds an 18-3 lead in their head-to-head, and has never lost to his countryman on hard courts. “I played him so much. Stan and I practiced so much together. With Rafa, I only practiced once in my life, whereas with Stan, I can’t even keep count anymore. Yeah, I guess those two guys know me very well.”