Roger Federer Beats Stan Wawrinka to Reach Australian Open Final


Perhaps being sidelined by a knee injury for the past six months was the best thing that’s happened recently to Roger Federer.

The rest and relaxation of spending time in Switzerland recuperating seems to have healed and invigorated the 35-year-old Swiss star. The big prize is now dangling in front of Federer – the possibility of his 18th Grand Slam title.

And not to worry as to where Federer can store another Grand Slam trinket. He has a trophy room, not a shelf, so there’s always plenty of space to spare.

In the end, it would take Federer 3 hours, 5 minutes to earn passage into his 28th career Grand Slam final via a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 semifinal win over Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open on Thursday night.

“What I’ve just come to realize is when you don’t feel well, you have too many problems going on, you just won’t beat top-10 players,” Federer said. “At some point you reach a limit, and you can’t go beyond that.

“The six months definitely gave me something in return.”

Overall, Federer’s shown incredible fight this fortnight playing in his first official tournament since Wimbledon last July. He’s even had to survive two five-set thrillers, one against fifth seed Kei Nishikori in the fourth round and the other Wednesday night against the fourth-seeded Wawrinka.

Jockeying for a spot in the final turned out to be a challenging task for Federer against Wawrinka. When Federer went ahead by two sets, it seemed close all but decided. But Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, wasn’t going gently into the night.

The match had all the drama necessary to make a tennis match enthralling to fans.

There was intriguing shot-making – the fluidity of Federer’s serve to the grace of Wawrinka’s one-handed backhand, the ebb-and-flow of the match as the players exploited different aspects of each other’s game – kept patrons guessing about the outcome.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Sandra Harwitt