By Josh McGill
Roger Federer has made it through to the Australian Open final after beating fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka. Federer remains on course to claim his fifth Australian Open title and potentially faces a mouth-watering final with Rafa Nadal, should the Spaniard overcome Grigor Dimitrov in the other semi-final.
In an intense match which lasted just over three hours, Federer won 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3. The 35 year old, who slid to 17th seed due to a six-month injury lay off, started the match brilliantly and had three early break points before claiming the first set.
Wawrinka was then broken twice in the second set and grew visibly frustrated, at one point smashing his racquet in two over his left-knee. After Federer claimed the second set, Wawrinka left the court for treatment from his trainer for his right-knee.
Wawrinka went on to dominate the third set, winning 1-6 and won the fourth set 4-6 after Federer went off to take an injury break in the ninth game.
In the sixth game of the final set Federer broke Wawrinka before the 4th seed double-faulted on break point. Federer would then go on to claim the fifth set 6-3, securing his place in the final.
Speaking directly after the match Federer said: “I couldn’t be happier right now. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d come this far in Australia.
“I can really actually talk about playing a final – I’ve been dodging that bullet for a few rounds.”
Federer was also excited by the prospect of a final with Nadal, a man who he’s faced in eight previous Grand Slam finals.
“Rafa has presented me with the biggest challenge in the game. I am his number one fan. His game is tremendous. He is an incredible competitor.
“I’m happy we had some epic battles over the years and of course it would be unreal to play here,” Federer said.
The last time the two met in a Grand Slam final was at the French Open in 2011, with Nadal winning in four sets. Federer will be going for an 18th Grand Slam singles title on Sunday.
Federer, 35, is the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final since Ken Rosewell at the US Open in 1974 at the age of 39.
CC: Cover Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons