Australian Open 2017 – Federer is back!

After a six month hiatus from competitive tennis due to a knee injury in July last year, Roger Federer is back and looks to be better than ever in his form and fitness.

The Past Year: Federer played in only seven tour events last year, which consequently resulted in him dropping out of the top 10 in ATP world rankings for the first time in 14  years.

His progress in the Australian Open: 

  • R1 – Federer showed a few signs of rustiness after his prolonged break, making 36 unforced errors but managed to win the match in two hours and six minutes.
  • R2 – Aside from a slight slump in the third set when he was down 5-2, he came back to beat Noah Rubin, winning in straight sets.
  • R3 –  Few people thought Roger would make it past this stage but he did, in a clinical fashion as well. In just one hour and 29 minutes, he stunned his opponent with a vintage display of tennis, winning in straight sets. Federer didn’t face a single break point, winning 39 of 41 points when his serve landed.
  • R4 – In what was probably his hardest match so far in the tour, Federer battled it out with world rank no.5 Nishikori to win in a five set thriller. In this game, he hit a staggering 81 winners which is nearly double Nishikori’s 42.
  • QF – Zverev’s unique serve-volley playing style did not work against Federer as it did against world no.1 Andy Murray. In numbers, Federer hit 65 winners in the three set match which only took 90 minutes.
  • SF – Last night, we witnessed Federer confidently win the first two sets against Wawrinka before succumbing to him on the third and fourth sets. The players both used off-court medical timeouts which seemed to change the momentum of the game with Wawrinka taking one after breaking his racquet and losing the second set (then winning the next two) and Federer taking one before the fifth set (then winning the match).

The Upcoming Final:

Roger Federer will play against the winner of the Nadal vs Dimitrov semi-final match (tonight). Full credit should be given to Dimitrov for making it this far in the tournament. The possibility of a vintage meeting between Nadal and Federer however is the much more popular match-up that everyone wants to see. If they do meet, it will represent their ninth major final together and their first since the French Open in 2011.

“Of course it would be unreal as both of us would never thought that we would be here potentially playing in the final again.” – Federer talking about Nadal final

UPDATED: Roger Federer WON in five sets: 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

References:
https://www.racingandsports.com.au/en/sports-tennis/federer-rinses-berdych-in-open-clinic-story-390684
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2017/01/22/roger-federer-vs-kei-nishikori-australian-open-live-score/
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/australian-open-2017-roger-federer-defeats-mischa-zverev-20170124-gty0d9.html
https://www.rte.ie/sport/tennis/2017/0126/847894-federer/
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