The hugely popular Swiss moved into Sunday's final in Melbourne when South Korea's history-maker Hyeon Chung retired with a lingering blister issue while trailing 5-2 in the second set.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion, who hasn't lost in five matches against Berdych in Melbourne, will play in his 43rd Grand Slam semi-final, a record for the post-1968 Open Era. The world No. 58 did so in style, with victories over Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev.
But instant improvement by Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, led to a monster 10th game in which he saved a set point with a down-the-line victor and broke for 5-5 on his fifth chance.
It was a muted semi-final with the retractable roof closed on Rod Laver Arena for rain, further improving Federer's chances given his strong indoor record.He broke Chung's opening service and twice more to romp away with the first set in just 33 minutes as the Korean made a flurry of errors. It was at this stage that Chung chose to take a medical timeout, which eventually lasted for eight minutes, and he was able to hold for 4-2 after this. Federer held comfortably for a 5-2 lead, and with the foot injury now seemingly unbearable, Chung was unfortunately forced to retire when serving to stay in the set. One thing I know is I'm going to be playing aggressive.
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"I'm never going to get the question again about being a world No. 1 without a Slam".
"I think a lot of players get callouses". 'First I have to really good recovery because I have to play semis in Grand Slam. I mean, one day you're winning, one day you're losing.
The Federer vs Cilic final will be broadcast on SONY SIX and SONY TEN2.
But the 21-year-old Chung is already looking at the big picture and just how impressive his achievement in Melbourne has been.
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Roger Federer and Marin Cilic will be playing each other in their second Grand Slam final. "I have to think about the ceremony". In an on court interview following his victory over Sandgren, Chung sheepishly laughed off analyst and former four time tennis champion Jim Courier's question about who he would rather face in the semifinals. Overall, Federer leads 8-1, and 3-1 at Slams.
He hasn't dropped a set in the first six matches of his defense and is quietly confident. "We're happy to see him do well, but we're trying not to be 'overoptimistic, ' although I know he worked hard to the point where he had blisters on his toes".
"I'm feeling really good physically, even though I had a few matches that went more than three hours", Cilic said.
A set and a break down in the Wimbledon final a year ago, Cilic started crying as the emotion of the situation got to him, as well as coping with severe blisters that impacted his performance.
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Only four other players in the history of the National Football League have won back-to-back Super Bowls with two different teams. But the Patriots were missing Rob Gronkowski , Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis in that game. "Honestly, we're in trouble".
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