Fabulous Federer outclasses Berdych to reach semi-finals
Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych 7-6 6-3 6-4

Fabulous Federer outclasses Berdych to reach semi-finals

24/01/2018

Roger Federer was in imperious form in overcoming Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-4 in the Australian Open quarter-finals in Melbourne.

The world number two saved two set points in the opening set, but never looked back as the 19-times Grand Slam champion produced some of his very best tennis to maintain his push for a sixth title in Melbourne against an opponent who must be wondering how he lost in straight sets having done very little wrong.

The 36-year-old Swiss is playing at the peak of his powers as he sets up a semi-final with South Korea's rising talent Chung Hyeon, conqueror of Novak Djokovic in the last 16, on Friday morning.

"I've never played Chung. Tennis will always create new names and stars. We need them. To beat Novak on this court is particularly difficult," said Federer.

"He is incredibly impressive in his movement. I'm excited to play him. He has nothing to lose, and I will tell myself the same."

Despite the scoreline, it was not all smooth sailing against the burly Czech for Federer as he arrived in the last four of a grand slam for the 43rd time -- and the 11th time without dropping a set.

Federer trailed early on, but 19th seed Berdych faltered when serving for the first set at 5-3 when Federer was infuriated by the malfunction of the Hawkeye video replay.

Berdych had one set point which Federer saved with a sweetly-struck backhand and another backhand went past him to give the Swiss the break back.

Second seed Federer turned on the style in the tiebreak, allowing Berdych a solitary point, and then wrapped up the second set with a single break of serve.

Berdych could have thrown in the towel when he fell behind in the third set, but kept Federer on his toes by breaking back.

"Coming back from 5-2 in the first set, it was clearly big tonight," Federer, the oldest man to reach the semis here since Ken Rosewall in 1977, told reporters.

Federer's said Nadal's retirement in the fifth set against Marin Cilic the previous evening, scuppering a repeat of last year's epic final, had played on his mind.

"I feel that's exactly the moment when you stumble. That's why I think I was actually very nervous going into this match tonight, and that's why I struggled early on," he said.

"I knew the danger of Berdych. Seeing what happened to so many other top seeds here in the draw, I was a bit wary."

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