Melbourne: Defending champion Roger Federer swept into a record 14th Australian Open semi-final with an immaculate straight sets win over long-time rival Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.
The second seed cruised to a 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 6-4 win in 2 hours and 14 minutes on Rod Laver Arena and will face unseeded South Korean Hyeon Chung on Friday for a place in the final.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion, who hasn’t lost in five matches against Berdych in Melbourne, will play in his 43rd Grand Slam semi-final, a record for the post-1968 Open Era. The Swiss legend has yet to face Chung, who has got past six-time champion Novak Djokovic and World No 4 Alexander Zverev to get to the last four.
Federer’s latest victory was his 92nd in 105 matches in Melbourne to make the Australian Open his most successful Grand Slam in terms of matches won along with Wimbledon. “I’m happy I got out of the first set. It ended up being the key of the match,” Federer said on court.
Federer has now won 14 out of 14 quarter-finals in Melbourne and has yet to drop a set in this tournament. Looking ahead to his semi-final opponent Chung, Federer said: “He’s incredibly impressive in his movement, he reminds me a lot of Novak the way he is able to slide forehand and backhand and use the hardcourt as a claycourt
“He gets balls back and stays aggressive in defence, so I’m really excited to be playing him, he’s got nothing to lose, I will tell myself the same and we’ll see what happens.”