Federer blitzes Zverev to set up Wawrinka semi

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Federer blitzes Zverev to set up Wawrinka semi
Roger Federer

MELBOURNE: Roger Federer stormed into the semi-finals of the Australian Open with an overpowering straight-sets win over Germany’s Mischa Zverev on Tuesday.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion set up a semi-final against fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 win in just 92 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The four-time champion extended his record for most Australian Open semi-final appearances to 13 with his victory.

It will also be a record-stretching 41st Grand Slam semi-final for the Swiss legend.

“I’m happy. I played as well as I could in this tournament. I never thought I would be this good. Here I am still standing in a semi-final to play Stan,” Federer said on court.

“It couldn’t be cooler for the both of us. I can’t wait.

“I thought (pre-tournament) I might win a few rounds, depending on the draw, maybe fourth round or quarters. That was my call.”

It was a dominant performance from the 35-year-old Federer, hitting 65 winners to just 13 unforced errors and breaking the serve-volleyer Zverev’s serve six times.

Zverev, ranked 50, had brought off one of the major upsets of the tournament with a fourth-round win over world number one Andy Murray and didn’t play badly against Federer, making only 13 unforced effors.

Federer has Swiss Davis Cup team-mate Wawrinka standing in his way for a place in Sunday’s final. He leads Wawrinka 18-3.

Zverev didn’t win a game in their most recent meeting at Halle in 2013, but he broke Federer’s serve in the fourth game of the second set and won a total of eight games.

Federer ripped through the opening set in just 19 withering minutes, breaking Zverev’s serve twice and not facing one break point on his own service.

The Swiss helped himself to 18 winners with just five errors as he laid down the marker for Zverev.

Zverev was backing up after his superb tactical success over world number one and five-time finalist Murray.

But this was a far different proposition as Federer’s speed around the court, shot variation and attacking intent flummoxed the German.

Zverev bravely remained true to his serve-volley game, coming to the net, but often being passed by crisp Federer volleys.

Zverev picked up his game in the second set and broke Federer with three break points in the fourth before the Swiss quickly broke back.

Zverev’s serve again came under attack and he fell three break points down with Federer hitting two sublime backhand winners to take the break.

He raced to three set points on his next service before taking a two sets lead in a total of 55 minutes.

Federer uncorked another gorgeous backhand pass to take the decisive break in the fifth game of the final set.

Zverev was taken to 10 deuces in the seventh game before Federer broke on his sixth break point for a 5-2 lead and then served out for the match.

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