Federer Defeats Berdych to Reach 14th Australian Open Semifinal – The quest for a 20th grand slam continues as defending champion Roger Federer overcame a tough first set to defeat Tomas Berdych Wednesday night in Melbourne. The Swiss maestro fell behind 3-0 early on, and Berdych missed on two set point opportunities at 5-3 and 6-5 in the first set. The 36-year-old Swiss fought back, taking the first set in a tiebreak, and then took control of the match in the second and third sets. Berdych displayed plenty of grit and hustle throughout, but Federer proved to be too much, clinching victory 7-6 (1) 6-3 6-4 in 2 hours 14 minutes.
The 19-time grand slam champion hit 15 aces, winning 83% of points on his first serve and 53% of points on his second serve. He was 4 of 8 on break point opportunities, and most spectacular of all, hit 61 winners across three sets.
“I hung around, got a bit lucky, a bit angry, a frustrated, maybe at the umpire, but I actually thought the call was good anyway,” Federer told Jim Courier, during an on-court interview. “I was just frustrated and a bit antsy. I’m happy I got out of that first set. It ended up being key to the match. Tomas was great.”
The 36-year-old Federer, who is through to his 14th Australian Open semi-final, is the oldest player to reach that stage since Australian all-time great Ken Rosewall (42 years, 68 days) in January 1977.
“It was a good start,” said Berdych. “I had good chances, a couple set points. Then I think he just got more confident after he saved the first set. Then it was very difficult with him again. After having been basically a whole set down, it gives you a [big] boost. Especially with him, I think it was just the deciding thing. I mean, everything is ‘if’. But winning a first set would be completely different story.”
Federer advances to the semifinals of the Australian Open for a record 14th time, and extends his record to 43 grand slam semifinal appearances overall. He will face 21-year-old Hyeon Chung of South Korea, who defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-4 7-6 (5) 6-3. Chung has defeated fourth seed Alexander Zverev and 6-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic en route to the semifinals. It will be the first meeting between Federer and Chung, Friday night on Rod Laver Arena.
Federer Defeats Berdych to Reach 14th Australian Open Semifinal