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Australian Open: Roger Federer To Face Stan Wawrinka

The 35-year-old Swiss marvel has been the talk of the year's first major in his unforeseen, roll-back-the-years charge at an 18th Grand Slam crown. Federer was runner up in 2009 after his defeat by Rafael Nadal.

Fourth seed Wawrinka has won a grand slam title in each of the past three years, passing Federer in the rankings after the seven-times Wimbledon champion cut his season short last summer.

The victor will advance to face either Rafael Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final.

"We don't speak enough about Rosewall", said Federer. He wrote me a letter again this week to wish me well again.

The Spaniard, who won the French Open past year, drilled a backhand into the net to lose in just under 90 minutes.

"I played him too many times on clay early on in my career. To be in the same breath like these guys, it's a great feeling". Despite Wawrinka successfully taking his service game to stay in the match, it proved to be just a consolation game as Federer served out the match to love to clinch the match in five sets after 3 hours and 5 minutes.

"I think it definitely went as good as it possibly could have gone", Federer told reporters. "I didn't really deserve it at that moment, but I served it out".

"I felt like everything happened so quickly at the end, I had to check the score at the end". I had to check the scoreboard.

"Then the day came where he didn't call me so much any more", Federer said in Melbourne, where on Thursday he and Wawrinka will meet in the semifinals of the Australian Open.

But the question still remains: After missing six months of competition in 2016, is Federer match-tough enough to hang with an opponent who has the massive ball-striking capability of Wawrinka from the baseline on both wings over the course of five sets?

"It was not easy to play him, he's strong", said Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion.

Both players created break point chances in a high-quality first set but the server largely stood firm.

It was looking like Federer was in deep trouble, and when he went off court for a medical timeout of his own, it was hard to imagine him coming back into the match, which had been hijacked by Wawrinka's brute force and inspired strokes for the last two sets.

He then uncorked another gorgeous backhand pass to take the decisive break in the fifth game of the final set, took Zverev to 10 deuces in the seventh game before breaking on his sixth break point for a 5-2 lead and to serve out for the match. Emerson was categorical in his prediction that Federer would trump Nadal if they clashed in the final."What has hurt Federer against Nadal is that the Spaniard puts really lot of spin on his forehand into Federer's backhand". "I just said: You know what?" We've had some epic battles over the years.

"I never think about the past or what I did before. It's a very special tournament for us already".


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