Playing immaculate tennis, big man Roger Federer brushed aside Andy Murray’s conqueror Mischa Zverev to enter the semifinals of 2017 Australian Open. The super Swiss will need to beat another Swiss Stan Wawrinka on Thursday to earn himself a place for the championship game on Sunday. Predictions are hazardous but on his current form, Federer looks all set to win his fifth Australian Open title and snap his 5-year Grand Slam drought. The last time Federer won in a Grand Slam was in the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. Since then, the Swiss maestro has reached three more Grand Slam finals; twice at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015 and once at the US open also in 2015. On all three occasions, he finished runners-up to Serbian Novak Djokovic. At Melbourne now, his resistance can only come from compatriot Wawrinka, Spain’s former world no.1 Rafael Nadal or Canadian Milos Raonic. More than anyone else, Federer knows best how to deal with any of them in his next two games. In Tuesday’s other notable results, US woman Coco Vandeweghe played a forceful game to oust 7th seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza and entered her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal and seasoned American campaigner Venus Williams was another woman to reach her career’s third semifinal at the Australian Open since she started coming to Melbourne in 1997.
All of last week, Roger Federer played marvelous tennis and proved that his 6-month injury lay-off has made him a better player. On Monday, he faced Germany’s world no.50 Mischa Zverev, who had earlier denied Britain’s world no.1 Andy Murray a chance of winning his first ever Australian Open title. In line for his 18th Grand Slam title and first in 5 years, the 35-year old former world no.1 taught his 29-year old opponent as to how serve-and-volley games are played. Belying general expectations of Zverev giving him a tough fight, Federer produced a master-class and finished the first set in just 19 minutes. Zverev tried to make his best efforts for comeback in the second set by breaking Federer and racing to a 3-1 lead. But that was the only break Zverev would earn in the entire match as the Swiss came back to lift his game and brought the score to 5-5 before taking the set 7-5. The third set was a near-replica of the first as Federer allowed Zverev no more chances and finished everything with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 victory. It was an astonishing 13th semifinal appearance for Roger Federer in 14 years at Melbourne Park. For the place in the final, Federer will play against compatriot and fourth seeded Stan Wawrinka, who came through by defeating 12th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the other quarterfinal on Tuesday.
In women’s draw, unseeded American Coco Vandeweghe caused a major upset by completely outclassing French Open champion Spain’s seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza. The 25-year-old Vandeweghe had earlier thrashed the top-seed and defending champion Germany’s Angelique Kerber and continued in the same vein against Muguruza. The American was in control after she broke the Spaniard in the seventh game of the first set. Afterwards, she ran through the defenses of the hapless Muguruza blitzing her at 6-4, 6-0. This was the best performance from Vandeweghe as she had never reached the semifinals in Grand Slam matches earlier. The way she is playing, Vandeweghe should be a heavy favorite in her next game against old-hand Venus Williams on Thursday. The 13th seeded Venus continued with her good run at Melbourne as she defeated Russian 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 in the other quarterfinal. The 36-year old Venus Williams is the oldest competitor in WTA singles events and her first appearance at the Australian Open goes back 20 years, when she played at Melbourne as a 16-year old in 1997. It is highly creditable; therefore, that the American still continues to win matches at top level.
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