nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Federer walks over Chung, into record 7th Aussie final

28 January 2018, 12:38 | Nina Perez

Kyle Edmund

Kyle Edmund

Roger Federer described his Australian Open semi-final victory as "bittersweet" after Hyeon Chung retired due to blisters on his left foot.

The 21-year-old Chung was the first Korean to reach the semifinals at a major and had taken out Djokovic and No. 4-ranked Alexander Zverev on his way to the last four.

It's been that kind of week at Melbourne Park in the men's draw: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal retired in the quarterfinals against Marin Cilic with a hip injury in a fifth set and Kyle Edmund - like Chung a young, maiden grand slam semifinalist - was hindered physically in his semifinal defeat Thursday to Cilic.

Yet Federer is again still standing.

But the defending champion was not happy the way the match ended.

Federer has an imposing win-loss record of 93-13 at the Australian Open and overall his Grand Slam record stands at 331-52. "At this point it's not about having to improve anything in particular", he told reporters. But I played a good match.

The serve is where this match will be won and lost - like almost every tennis match, perhaps, but particularly so for opponents who have been in sizzling form with ball in hand throughout the tournament. He crushed me in that US Open semis - he beat me badly.

Hyeon Chung waves as he leaves the Rod Laver Arena after retiring injured from his semi-final against Roger Federer.

- Slam success shared - Roger Federer and Marin Cilic will be playing each other in their second Grand Slam final.

"I would have preferred a normal end (to the Chung match), yes". "When they happen, you take them".

"I've played with blisters in the past, and it hurts a lot.at some point, it is just too much", Federer said.

Chung delivered a big serve on the first of them which was called out by the line judge. "I like those attitudes". He's very professional. He's always very much the same regardless of whether he wins or loses.

"On the court, he's a victor". He's there to win and not just to be there. "However, I had to make a tough decision given that I can not compete 100% against Roger, in front of many tennis fans". If it comes to sheer pace, Cilic also has the edge, having struck a high 133.6mph - 15th fastest of the fortnight - while Federer has cranked it up to 128mph.

Cilic, 29, has had a trailblazing tournament and is the first Croatian to appear in a Melbourne final. - Pair's practice in Maldives - Federer and Cilic practised together last month when they discovered, by accident, they were holidaying together in the Maldives.

He says he is in a good space with his serve and forehand. 'When he arrived, I didn't want to bother him.

The Korean will have bigger and better days at slams in the future but this was a hard experience from the moment he dropped serve in the opening game.

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