Men's First Semi-Final Australian Open Tennis

Men's First Semi-Final

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Hello, the Australian Open has reached the semifinal stage and the


Swiss are on a roll. Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slam titles,


takes on compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who has three majors to his name.


For one of them, another place in a Grand Slam final weights. Tennis,


like life, is all about timing. -- a place in a Grand Slam final weights.


Time and time again... COMMENTATOR: Back in the big time.


True tennis greatness. The third Swiss to win a major. At times, this


performance was genius. He can absolutely batter the ball. Pure


delight for the whole of Switzerland. What a time to do it.


The greatest of all time? We can expect precision timing over


the next hour. We have that match coming up. Before the two Swiss


greats came unto God, we went back in time to honour one of the greats


of the past, Australian Rod Laver. The only player to have one tennis's


Grand Slam twice was honoured with the order of Australia.


Federer has had the better of their meetings, he has won all 13 of their


hard court meetings. They will see their own pictures along the


corridor as they make their way out onto court. 20 Grand Slam between


them and Federer has the lion's share, with 17, but Wawrinka's three


have all come since Federer's last one.


Your commentators are Andrew Castle and John Wood.


COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure there's any future in trying to take a high


ball on the backhand side. There are many times he struggled with Rafael


Nadal on that one. If there is any area of weakness, even a marginal


one, it could be up high on the backhand side.


You can see how early Federer is trying to take this ball in the


rally, he is trying to get ahead of his opponent quickly in these


points. The timing has to be absolutely precise. He has missed


two backhands in this game in trying to do that.


As soon as he has lost that point, though, at 0-15, 15-30 can he


serve-volleys. It's all very aggressive at the moment. Watching a


35-year-old Roger Federer with all his talent and records, watching him


trying to find a way against this US Open champion, it's quite thrilling.


There have been so many years when it came so easily for Federer,


everybody dismissed with a wave of the magic wand of his right hand.


But now you sense that he is hanging on and he wants another major


highlight, but he has got trouble here. As the camp Luxon, a break


point at a time to Wawrinka. I mean, that is virtually a


half-volley on a break point down! Yes he was moving onto the ball and


it was short and Wawrinka will be disappointed, but to take that ball


on, to get your opponent on the run, as Federer did, break point down...


Courageous. He may not have age on his side,


Federer, but he has a record on his side that Irene Coe will be aware


of. Federer has won 13 and lost none against Wawrinka on hard courts.


UMPIRE: Federer is challenging the call on the right baseline. I


thought Wawrinka might have challenged earlier on on the second


serve actually, but he didn't. This ball was moving quickly. It went


through the air fast and landed either on the line or just behind.


Federer has stopped the rally, and he was right to do so. And that is a


well held game. 6-5 Federer, first set.


And he has threaded the ball down the line, Federer, who saved a break


point in the previous game. By correctly challenging a ground


stroke by Wawrinka on his own baseline, he might have stopped this


rally earlier. Threads the line, beautiful.


Oh! That is a great response from Wawrinka. Not an easy poll, John.


Heavy forehand from Federer. Again, this aggressive mode he is income


coming in. Took that just early enough to be able to dip its down


low, create that winner. LINE JUDGE: Out!


UMPIRE: The ball was called out. Mr Wawrinka challenging the call. Both


players came in absolutely ready. Federer had beaten Berdych and


Nishikori in five sets. Wawrinka has felt the fire, he beat Martin Klizan


in five sets in the first round. So, these are the moments that


decide a match. LINE JUDGE: Out! This is a vital


challenge, this one. Federer looked a little bit unsure himself, from


his reaction after this ball. This is big.


Having saved a break point in the previous game, Roger Federer with a


set point. Cheeky slice down the line, changing


direction and changing the spin! Federer has nicked the first set and


that is what it was, 50 minutes and seven games to five in this


committee 's 41st Grand Slam semifinal. The old man is doing


well. STUDIO


First blood to the four-time champion Federer. How will Wawrinka


react? Here he is 3-2 down on serve in the second set.


Well, it was close. Federer so aggressive on that serve, four feed


inside the baseline taking that second serve. Yes, court it -- he


caught it. CHEERING


That is amazing. It's hard to believe, looking at this match, that


Roger Federer could sort of bully someone like Stan Wawrinka, but that


is what his game plan has been, to be extremely aggressive, take the


ball on early, serve and volley, mix it up and not give Wawrinka time to


breathe, and that is what has been happening so far. It is a 99th match


at the Australian Open for Roger Federer. Only Jimmy Connors has


played 100 in a slam, in fact he did it at Wimbledon and the US Open. He


has been around a bit, Roger Federer. And this vast wealth of


experience, and we've been talking about that slice and that chip


backhand from Federer, the slice down the line just changing the look


to Wawrinka, it won him the first set and now it has brought him to


break at a key moment. Stan Wawrinka on a 12 match winning


streak at these Grand Slam championships. The last man to beat


him at a slam, Juan Martin del Potro at Wimbledon in the second round.


So, the reigning US Open champion under the cosh, second point.


And the racket takes a hammering and you can understand why. Wawrinka now


a set and they break down and the dream lives on for Federer. Six


months away from the game coming into this. What a story Roger


Federer is creating here. We didn't know whether he could win


back-to-back matches over five sets against the big guys. But the


victory over Berdych in straights and then Nishikori in five has got


Federer believing. There's a bit of eight, whatever the substance is,


holding that together. It's an automatic warning. It's a bit of a


silly system for me. He hasn't harmed anybody, apart from the


racket. I could do that, titanium knees, no problem!


APPLAUSE I'm not sure there's ever been a


better front runner in the game than Roger Federer. Just hitting the


surface and zipping into the back fence.


He has just tapped his knee there, I'm not sure if that was the knee he


used to break that racket, but... Federer only played seven tour


events last year. He injured his knee a day after the semifinal of


the Australian Open, so a year ago, he had arthroscopic knee surgery in


February and carried on until Wimbledon, the semifinal for him.


Then he called it quits. So, six months without hitting a ball. Most


people would take three or four weeks, or even months, to get back


to winning ways. But he just slotted straight back in. Incredible.


Well, how can BOOING


-- how can Wawrinka respond to this? For consecutive games for Roger


Federer, a set and 5-2 up in this semifinal. Akram Byas seats quickly,


please, thank you. UMPIRE: Seats, quickly, please.


Thank you. Stan Wawrinka, who has won all three


of his Grand Slam championships since Roger Federer last won is,


which was the 2012 Wimbledon, the match against Andy Murray, where


Andy cried at the end, you remember? Stan has had such great success, he


will rise to number three in the world by the end of this tournament.


But he has a mountain to climb here. A set and 5-2 down.


Federer is just charging in where ever he feels like! I thought he had


no chance there and he actually should have made that volley. The


easiest folly he has had in this match, he has lobbied superbly other


than that one. He just needs to keep concentrating. It's almost as though


he has just taken his foot off the gas and he is preparing for the next


service game. Some players approach the match in that way, Jimmy Connors


never used to. But Federer constructs his matches in a slightly


different way. It can be dangerous to just see the


momentum to the other player in this situation -- to just cede momentum


to the other player. So Federer will be pleased he won that point. Former


world number two there and an Australian Open semifinalist in


2000. He has done a fantastic job with


Stan Wawrinka, but they might need to work on the rallies! He is


forcing himself to come in a bit more now, Wawrinka, to try to take


the net away from Federer. It's not a place he's very comfortable with.


It was in 2000 where his coach, Magnus Norman, made the semifinal,


and Federer picked up his first Grand Slam win, at this tournament,


17 years ago. But he wants to forget all about that now and concentrate


on what is at hand, the chance of going to sets to love up.


Wawrinka's parents and agent, as well as coach, there.


Amazing! A hold to love, two sets to love now for Mr Federer.


Wawrinka really up against it now and also struggling with a knee


injury and having a medical time-out at the end of the second set. Let's


join it with Federer two sets to love up and serving at 1-2.


APPLAUSE Well, three break points! How


quickly it turns around. Something for the Wawrinka box to get stuck


into, here. Had those break points in the first set.


CHEERING And that's it! Game on in this third


set. First break to Wawrinka. And Wawrinka broke again to wrap up the


first set -- the third set 6-1. We rejoin the action in the fourth at


3-4 with Wawrinka serving. STUDIO


COMMENTATOR: Two games from the final, you could say. This is a


risky challenge. UMPIRE: Federer has two challenges


remaining. It stays struck, doesn't it, when he


hits it, Stan? Strength in the core. And the legs as well.


APPLAUSE A bit fortunate, there. Both players


on their second serves in this set. It has been better in this set. It


has been pretty consistent throughout.


APPLAUSE Back to 30-0, aided by that


magnificent overhead, yes, but the net cord, the previous point.


Wawrinka could be heading out the exit more ways than one in a moment.


One of the umpires there on the right, he does such a -- such a


great job over the years with this tournament, to build it.


He's not a choker, Stan Wawrinka. He has won too many big matches for


that. That slow, sliced ball staying low


has given him all sorts of troubles today. Not enough players play it.


Federer used it on the backhand side to win the first set with that poke


down the line. First-class hold. Stan Wawrinka is a


man that you have to beat, he's not going to give it away, not at this


stage in his career, with the periods he has got as well. So that


was excellent -- with the experience he has got as


well. So now the pressure reverts, as is the nature of this sport.


That so good. Thrust out forehand from behind the baseline. Clean


winner. Further in trouble. That was deep. Further not expecting that


kind of reply. -- Federer. Superb, isn't it? What a test. 4-4,


fourth set, 0-40. It can all happened so quickly. A little


opportunity in the previous game that may have offered him I thought


of the winning line, now he's under pressure.


APPLAUSE Handy serve.


Easy hit, he would be thinking he should have blocked it. He's got it!


Federer should have done more with a backhand volley really. Wawrinka


kept his eye on the ball and just used his own wonderful hands to


guided crosscourt. -- guide it. Now Wawrinka will serve to take us to a


fifth set. For the second time in this fourth set of the stream Open


semifinal, Wawrinka has a break of serve, the other time was away


earlier in the set, the first game. -- Australian Open semifinal. This


time he's serving for the fifth set. This is an absolute demonstration in


mon Stan Wawrinka has become. A very hard man to beat. And the very


biggest tournaments. In the lower down tournaments he can show up or


not but in these big tournaments, he's the man right now. US Open


champion. And that's it. We are going to a


fifth and deciding set. Wawrinka strong in the last two sets. Winning


6-1, 6-4. He has never beaten Roger Federer on a hard court. If he does


so now, he'll go through to play the winner of Nadal and Dimitrov. It's


all on the fifth. STUDIO: The Stirling matches going


into fifth and final set, Federer took a medical time-out for


treatment on his leg before the decider, lets pick it up at 2-2 with


Federer serving. Brilliant return of serve. Must say


congratulations to Andy for winning the quad doubles again, the fifth


time for him. Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewitt


involved still in the final of the doubles competition.


Yeah, Rod Lever clapping that. I used to do that every ball! Serve


and volley. anything short, anything in that


area around the middle of the court, just beyond the service line and


bouncing up just gets dispatched. Wawrinka, who was two sets down. Can


he bridges in this game? 2-2, fifth set.


85-90 mph return. That's a lot of pays to generate.


Those rallies, those rallies. That's a Wawrinka pattern in this point of


the match, approaching three hours. But what can Federer do to stop it


becoming that? He's getting bludgeoned off the court. Magnus


Norman, former world number two, brilliant coach of Wawrinka.


Surprising. Did not expect to see that.


Normally handles that height so well on the backhand.


Remember him winning Wimbledon against Philippoussis with an


overhead similar to the second one. More a high volley.


Break points saved again. Roger Federer, the legend hanging by a


thread. Pulling on all his resources. For all his years, this


is quite something. 3-2, fifth. There are so many statistics in


tennis, you can bandy them around all like but it comes down to heart


and soul and how to produce Europe best and magnify your strengths and


get out your opponents's weaknesses. Often forgotten it's a one-on-one


contest. You have to be flexible to find your way through these matches.


Federer has always been a thinker, a lot on his plate but he's 3-2 up.


Federer is ranked number 17 in the world at the moment because he took


those six months. Fell out of the top ten in November.


He'd been in the top ten until November last year for a consecutive


734 weeks. Return there, short backswing.


Federer adjusted to the pace of Wawrinka's serve. Little opening


here. Federer, who has had to fight off


break points in two of his service games now has a couple of break


points to get ahead in this fifth. Pressure tells. What a poor service


game there. Well, we talk about the


single-handed backhand of Wawrinka being a thing of beauty, that wasn't


bad. What a serve. Second serve. Two


firsts to go 30-love up and a second there and the return after you


break. That's how to consolidate. There's the reaction. Probably the


first tournament since they'd been married, probables and expecting


much in these two weeks. -- probably wasn't. Amazing.


Remembering Jimmy Connors in 1991 in the US Open as a 39-year-old going


to the semifinal. 35-year-old Roger Federer hasn't played for six


months. Played the Hopman cup but that's an unofficial event. Hasn't


played since losing to Raonic, the Marin Cilic at Wimbledon in the


semifinal. Disappointing! He's come here having not played. A game away


from the final. Absolutely staggering performance. The


accumulation you felt right now he'd be feeling it. Played some great


sense so far, still got to close it out but Wawrinka is not going to go


away easily. You think he's nervous ahead of the next game, serving for


a place in the final? No. Bet he isn't. He's done it too many times.


Not lately. That's true. That's away. 41st Grand Slam


semifinal. That's ten years plus. He's won 27 of those semifinals, so


he's done it all before but this is unexpected.


OK. Well done Wawrinka, his previous service game put him in this


position. A couple of errors. He, himself on this Grand Slam match


winning streak. He won the US Open and now what?


Glorious reception. Federer steps to the line serving for a place in the


final. Fought and won- two punch that was


on the second serve. You kidding? And how was this would work for


moving back out to the left? He was virtually in the tramlines when he


hit that forehand. Absolute perfection so far on these two


service points. CHEERING


The word rape is bandied about too often but this is a great sportsman


and this is a great story. Top-class tournament from Stan


Wawrinka but it's all about Roger. And his 100th match at the


Australian Open will be the final having not played for six months. At


35 and it just might be against Rafa Nadal would be just too delicious


for words and even if it's against Grigor Dimitrov that would be just


fine as well. Fifth set, done a couple of break


points, tell us how you escape that and turned it all around. I don't


know how many break points I saved. Just two. It was tough I felt Stan


had the upper hand on the fifth in the baseline and he was reading my


serve well, something about him maybe being more relaxed, I knew I


had to stay in it somehow but if I played aggressive and connected on a


few returns all of a sudden it could turn round. I feel like he gave a


bit of a cheap break, not like I really deserve the that moment and


after that I did well and got it home and I couldn't be happier right


now. Sounds like you're not the only one who's happy. You're into your


sixth Australian Open final. After the six months off, what does this


mean to you to be back in a Grand Slam final again? And, following


everything happened so quickly at the end. It was disbelief, I had to


check the score. It's all real, I'm doing the interview. It feels


amazing. I never in my wildest dreams thought I was 20 becoming


this far here in Australia. Here I am, got a couple of days. It's all


happening. A record extending 28 Grand Slam


final for Roger Federer on Sunday. We'll find out tomorrow who his


opponent will be, will it be his old rival Rafa Nadal audible Grigor


Dimitrov strike a blow for the younger generation? The second


semifinal is on tomorrow. Either way it's going to be a dream


final on Sunday, Andrew and John are with me. What a comeback this has


been for Roger, you just kept thinking, has he reached its peak


early in the tournament? He seems to get better and better. The big test


for him after Wimbledon last year, we didn't see him at all, six months


away from tournament tennis. Most normal people forget how to play.


He's been hitting a few balls underrating us but to actually be in


a match situation and think clear enough and to get the job done is


fantastic. He wasn't sure whether he could play back-to-back best of five


set matches and here we are, the six matches, including the one against


Nishikori which is demanding and this one as well. It's a fabulous


story, one of the sports stories of the year and were not even out of


January yet and he hasn't won yet but for me to see this man who has


transcended the sport in so many ways still playing with youthful joy


and with exuberance, even if you don't love tennis, just watch this


because when he's not here any more were certainly going to look back


and say it was one of the greatest if not the greatest. Treasure him


when his, physically it was incredible but mentally, two sets


up, felt his back in the locker room and having to go to a fifth set,


mentally he did well. The first two says he was so aggressive, had a


game plan, coming in a lot more than we had seen him and Wawrinka has


that eighth minute time-out for the injury and he lost his way a bit was


that he loses the third and fourth and you think... Then he goes right


back to being aggressive again, a couple of little chance is Wawrinka


had but Federer got at him and he went back to his old plan again and


came back to be aggressive and took chances. It's remarkable. Six months


out, he's in the final of the Australian Open at 35. It's


staggering. You'll be happy to have a couple of days off, warranty? And


will be useful just spent some time with the kids, all of whom are now


ready to go skiing. They inform them mother and dad said give me a couple


of days, keep watching the tennis. Certainly been a wonderful turn of


comebacks and surprises, ended women's semifinals, yet another


wonderful storyline. Venus Williams at the age of 36 is true to her


first Grand Slam final for eight years, she beat fellow American Coco


Vandeweghe. You can see just how much it means to her. In the final


Venus will need a familiar face, sister Serena who beat Marianna


Baroni. The Croatian would be to -- won't be too disappointed. It's an


all Williams Grand Slam final for the ninth time on the first since


2009. That's on Saturday. It is an incredible storyline, John.


Probably expect Serena to be there but for Venus to be back in the


grand slam final. We expected with Venus that she was


capable of winning some good matches but to be in the finals of another


grand at her age. Identikit was possible and once again she's just


proved she still great, great player. Coming through injuries,


illness, so much, shows the love of the Williams sisters have for the


game. In their mid-30s and loving it as much as ever. The average age of


the semifinalists was 32.5, the average age of the finalists is


35.5. The two have been such dominant figures, none more so than


Serena who rises to the challenge every time. Angelique Kerber out


quite early on, everybody talking about Johanna Konta and Sarinah


dismisses her for the loss of five games and I thought Baroni would go


down the same way. Serena is the present. I think she just wonderful


player. Only thing in Venus's favour is that she's putting her sister and


maybe a little more generous at times. They had close matches, she


respected Venus much but when Serena starts, she's heavy favourite. I


give very much, it's been one fairy tale story at another after another


in Melbourne. The Williams sisters in the final and Roger Federer going


for grand slam title number 18. To break someone physically... Agh!

:58:52.:59:00. not a problem.


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