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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday January 23, 2018

 
Roger Federer

Roger Federer overcame a shaky opening and rolled by Tomas Berdych in straight sets to book his 14th Australian Open semifinal.

Photo Source: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Familiar foes came to a familiar result on Wednesday in Melbourne as Roger Federer won for the eighth time in ten Grand Slam meetings against Tomas Berdych to book a record 14th Australian Open semifinal, 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4.

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Federer was slow to start and fell behind 3-0 to Berdych in the opener. He managed to get on the board but the Czech continued to press ahead and earned a set point while serving in the ninth game, but he could not convert it and instead surrendered a break on Federer’s 4th break point of the game.

Berdych had another set point with Federer serving in the next game, but after the Swiss saved that point it was pretty much smooth sailing for the 19-time major champion. He dominated the tiebreaker, dropping just one point.

“Hung around. Got a bit lucky, a bit angry,” Federer said. “I’m very happy that I got out of that first set I think it ended up being the key to the match.”


It wasn’t a simple contest like his 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Berdych in the third round at Melbourne last year, but there was an air of inevitability once Berdych failed to capitalize on his chances in the first set.

In the second set Federer saved a break point to hold for 2-1 and he would later break for 5-3 with a backhand winner before closing out the set at a rapid clip.

There was an early trade of breaks in third set but Federer again emerged with the upper hand. He broke for 3-2 and at that point Berdych appeared to be struggling physically after a visit with the trainer.

Federer held his serve the rest of the way to improve to 14-0 lifetime in Australian Open quarterfinals.

He also reaches a record 43rd Grand Slam semifinal and improves to 92-13 at the Australian Open.

Federer will face 21-year-old sensation Hyeon Chung in the semifinals.

“I haven’t really seen him play that much,” said Federer. “He’s incredibly impressive in his movement. … I’m really excited to play against him, he’s clearly got nothing to lose, I will tell myself the same and we’ll see what happens.”

 

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