Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Federer in seventh Open final after Chung retires

Federer in seventh Open final after Chung retires

The hugely popular Swiss moved into Sunday's final in Melbourne when South Korea's history-maker Hyeon Chung retired with a lingering blister issue while trailing 5-2 in the second set.

Going into the match against Chung, Federer had a below-par semifinals record at Melbourne Park, only six wins out of 13.

Federer dominated the unseeded South Korean, ruthlessly cruising to a 6-1, 5-2 lead under the roof on Rod Laver Arena before a onesided match came to a premature end. "He reminds me a lot of Novak (Djokovic)", Federer said. "I can see why he beat players like Novak (Djokovic), Sascha (Alexander Zverev)", Federer, who noticed his opponent had slowed down considerably in the second set, said. And just the sight of Berdych across the net probably made Federer feel good. This is the sixth time that Federer is in the Australian Open final while it is Cilic's first appearance. "He's had such a wonderful tournament". He'll next face the victor of the match between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych on Wednesday night.

He also made the Wimbledon final past year, losing to Federer as he struggled with painful blisters.

The second of two men's semifinal matchups at the 2018 Australian Open will take place on Thursday evening, or rather, early in the morning on Friday for those in the United States. However, he noted that Chung's game, which features clay-court style sliding on hardcourts, could take a toll.

Federer has looked extremely sharp in Melbourne this year, as well - he's yet to drop a set in six matches.

"I'm playing much, much more aggressive", Cilic said. I think he strives for more.

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"I'm not going to walk away from this tournament and think it was awful because I had one bad match", Keys said.

The prospect remains for Federer to meet Britain's Kyle Edmund, who plays Croatia's Marin Cilic on Thursday morning, in Sunday's final, and the five-time victor believes the emergence of fresh talent is vital for the game.

"I'm feeling really, really good physically, even though I had few matches that went more than three hours".

Cilic went on to win the United States title that year - his only Grand Slam trophy.

If the same is to be true this year, Federer will need to get past a unsafe opponent in Chung in their first career meeting. I think it's going to help me to stay focused on what I have to do. He also sensed something wrong with Chung's movement.

Stan Wawrinka's win over Nadal in 2014 was the only final since 2008 that didn't feature two of the Big Four. And Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner-up, withdrew from the season-opening major to have surgery on his hip, leaving their collective reputation for dominance in Australia on Federer.

Chung's agent, Stuart Duguid, explained the extent of the damage suffered by the Next Gen ATP Finals champion.

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