Federer enjoys 'beautiful' route to Australian Open final
Jan 27, 2017, 01:12
In a match that was contested hotly at the start, Federer gradually took control, parlaying a late break in set one into the type of mid-match confidence that has made him one of the greatest frontrunners of all-time. Vandeweghe's presence in the final should hearten American fans and she will be a most welcome presence in later rounds of Slams if she can continue this level of play.
A volley victor eventually gave Federer the service hold which allowed him to let the set remain on serve. Surviving this close ordeal, the three-time grand slam champion managed to stay on serve in the set. A single break of serve in the fourth, sent the game to a final set.
It does not seem like this all-Swiss clash will go the distance - the victor will most probably end the match in four sets.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has faced a tricky road to the final four. With Federer just being a game away from winning the first set, Wawrinka crumbled to the pressure and the crowd, who was mainly cheering for Federer, being broken in the last game of the first set to gift Federer the advantage after 50 minutes.
But what has also changed is that Wawrinka generally improves as tournaments progress, and he has won all three of his major finals.
Federer has the benefit of two off days before the final. This tactic took its toll; here's a peek into Wawrinka's psyche, down 7-5, 4-2.
First to yesterday. Nadal saved six pivotal set points in the second set to deny Milos Raonic a return trip to the semifinal.Instead, it was Nadal was cracking that forehand, had better court positioning and kept the "ailing" Canadian off balance.
And you also realize Federer is playing his first tournament in six months. After securing a 40-15 lead, while serving at 2-2 against his countryman Stan Wawrinka, Federer played a couple of loose points and found himself break point down.
Wawrinka started the fourth set on a high note as he made the best possible start to the set by breaking Federer's serve on an excellent backhand crosscourt return victor on break point to take the early advantage.
The second set started in the same manner of the first, but Federer gained confidence and focus on him tennis, while Wawrinka conceded a few more errors.
The 2016 US Open champion nearly threw away those opportunities but managed to convert his third break point to get the long-awaited break of service. The timeout seemed to have done wonders as he broke Federer thrice in a row to take the next two sets. Federer used his strong serve to help him get back to deuce and eventually closed out the service game to remain on serve. Ever failed. Try again.
Remarkably Wawrinka broke for a third game in succession, a stunning backhand passing victor gave him the opening game of the fourth set - but Federer broke back immediately in a thrilling opening service game of the set for Wawrinka.
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