Australian Open

Roger Federer fairy tale rolls on at Australian Open as he sets up all-Swiss semi with Stan Wawrinka

Mischa Zverev dispatched in clinical fashion as 35-year-old keeps alive dream of winning 18th grand slam title in Melbourne

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 6:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 7:23pm

Roger Federer took apart Mischa Zverev 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 with a clinical display to reach his 13th Australian Open semi-final in just 92 minutes on Tuesday.

Chasing an 18th grand slam title, and first since 2012, the 35-year-old Federer neutered his left-handed German opponent’s serve-volley game to set up a last-four meeting with fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

Looking in form as imperious as in his heyday of a decade ago despite missing the back end of last season after knee surgery, Federer is now one match away from a potential final against his old rival Rafael Nadal.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, will want to have a say about that as will Nadal’s quarter-final opponent, Milos Raonic.

“I never thought I would get this far and here I am, still standing,” Federer said. “A semi-final against Stan, it couldn’t be cooler.”

Zverev’s serve-and-volley game is a throwback to an even earlier era and the world number 50 contributed fully to an entertaining, if short, contest with his fine volleying and net play.

The unorthodox game helped the left-hander beat world number one Murray on Sunday, one of two stunning upsets along with the early exit of Novak Djokovic that have opened up the draw for Federer and Nadal.

Against Federer, though, it took Zverev 15 minutes to hold serve and get on the scoreboard and by that stage he was already 5-0 down in the opening set.

Federer has been such an extraordinary player that he has all but lost the ability to shock with his feats on court.

Andy Roddick, who was inducted into the tennis Hall of Fame on Tuesday and lost a Melbourne semi-final to Federer a decade ago, offered some welcome perspective.

“Everyone here is going to talk about it in every story they write for the rest of this tournament, and I still don’t know if that’s enough,” the American told reporters. “It’s pretty amazing.”