January 24, 2018
  • Federer bears Berdych 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4
  • Unseeded Korean Chung beats Sandgren 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
Roger Federer overpowers Tomas Berdych to set up Hyeon Chung meeting in Australian Open semi-finals
The defending champion Roger Federer argued with an umpire but mostly let his racket do the talking as he beat Tomas Berdych for the ninth time running to reach the Australian Open semi-finals on Wednesday.
Despite the 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4 scoreline, it was not all smooth sailing against the burly Czech for the 36-year-old Federer as he arrived in the last four of a grand slam for the 43rd time - and the 11th time without dropping a set.
Federer trailed early on, but the 19th seed Berdych faltered when serving for the first set at 5-3 when Federer was infuriated by the malfunction of the Hawkeye video replay.
Berdych had one set point which Federer saved with a sweetly-struck backhand and another backhand went past him to give the Swiss the break back.
The second seed Federer turned on the style in the tiebreak, allowing Berdych a solitary point, and then wrapped up the second set with a single break of serve. Berdych could have thrown in the towel when he fell behind in the third set, but kept Federer on his toes by breaking back.
It only delayed the inevitable, though, as Federer broke again and completed the job with a love service game to set up a meeting with South Korean player Hyeon Chung for a place in the final.
Chung is the first Korean to reach a grand slam semi-final after continuing his spectacular Australian Open run at Melbourne Park. The 21-year-old world No 58 outclassed the unseeded American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 on Wednesday to also become the lowest-ranked man to make the last four of the Open since Marat Safin in 2004.



Backing up from his stylish straight-sets victory over six-time winner Novak Djokovic, Chung showed no signs of a psychological letdown as he broke Sandgren four times on Rod Laver Arena to storm into the last four in two hours and 28 minutes.
Triumphant at the 2017 Next-Gen Finals in Milan, Chung has carried his blazing form to Melbourne, adding Sandgren to his growing list of scalps this fortnight that also include world No4 Alexander Zverev, the German’s brother Mischa who ousted Andy Murray last year and Sydney International champion Daniil Medvedev.
At 21 and 254 days, Chung is also the youngest men’s grand slam semi-finalist since Marin Čilić at the 2010 Australian Open. The South Korean could meet the Croat who in this year’s final.
While Chung marches on, Sandgren can console himself with a cheque for $440,000 and a surge from 97th in the rankings to the world’s top 60. The unfancied American had never won a match at the majors, failing on 13 previous occasions to qualify for a grand slam.
The 26-year-old gallantly fought off five match points. He finally relented after a thrilling nine-point game that featured one epic 31-point rally and then another extraordinary display at the net from Sandgren in a desperate attempt to stave off defeat.
“I don’t know in last game 40-love up, I start thinking what I had to do in ceremony, something like that,” Chung said. “After the deuce point, no ceremony. I’m just trying to stay focused because I’m first time in these [big] matches.”
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