“We will see a fresh and ready Marin this time around”, added Federer, who beat Cilic in last summer’s Wimbledon final.
Defending champion Roger Federer has stormed into his seventh Australian Open final with South Korea’s Hyeon Chong leaving the match midway through the semifinal because of an injury.
Speaking on court after the match, Federer said he could see that Chung was struggling with his movement. He held and quickly got on top in the first set and, after maintaining his composure in a nervy second set tiebreaker, quickly established a break in the third set against the tiring British player. He will certainly be the favourite to win the title on Sunday.
Asked what it would mean to claim a record-extending 20th grand slam title, Federer said: “Twenty times special”.
To put up with something as gruesome as that shows how much fight and potential Chung has though, and Federer himself seems to think he can go a long way in the game with that mentality.
Federer, a 19-time Grans Slam victor, will play Marin Cilic in a showdown on Sunday, yet he was left with mixed feelings after reaching his 30th major final.
Chung took to Twitter to wish his opponent the best of luck in the finals.
To have the chance to banish that memory so soon in another grand slam final will make Cilic unsafe on Sunday.
But the 21-year-old Chung is already looking at the big picture and just how impressive his achievement in Melbourne has been. Brilliant from the Swiss.
Federer’s conversation rate is better in finals in Australia – the only time he lost a championship match was against Rafael Nadal in 2009.
World No.1 Rafael Nadal, six-time champion Novak Djokovic and former victor Stan Wawrinka succumbed to injuries, while five-time finalist Andy Murray didn’t even get to the starting line.
Federer broke serve in the opening game and although he had to save a break point in the second he was soon 5-1 up. Chung should have expected this.
Federer, meanwhile, is favored to get to No. 20 on Sunday. However, with Federer leading 5-2 and 30-30 the Korean decided it was time to quit. Also, look for Federer to take his backhand up the line early in rallies.
The first Croatian to play in an Australian Open final also seems to benefit from frequent coaching changes. He meets Federer for a chance at his first ever title at Melbourne Park. Can he reach the final? He can not take Chung lightly as he is in his best form.
While the semi-final wasn’t exactly an all-time classic, much like the game the night before, fans are still wanting to actually watch the match and not an Apple ad.
It took just over an hour for Roger Federer to fix an anomalous statistic in his extraordinary career.
Roger Federer admits that he is disappointed his Australian Open semi-final against Chung Hyeon was decided by an injury.