Evergreen Roger Federer is plotting the downfall of compatriot Stan Wawrinka after becoming the oldest men’s singles semi-finalist at a grand slam for 25 years.
Federer, 35, continued his impressive return from injury at the Australian Open by despatching Sir Andy Murray’s conqueror Mischa Zverev 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
It made him the oldest man to go so deep at a major tournament since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open, but the 17-time grand slam winner indicated he is not done yet.
“My expectation was not to play Stan Wawrinka in the semis. I thought maybe I could get to the fourth round or quarters,” Federer said.
“So I never thought it would be this good but here I am standing with Stan at the semis, which couldn’t be cooler for the both of us.”
Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, defeated 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-3 in a testy encounter that saw the pair exchange cross words after the opening-set tie-break.
“You can have some tension during the match between players. Sometimes it can happen,” said fourth seed Wawrinka. “Most important is that after the match it’s all good.”
Venus sets up Vandeweghe clash
In the women’s draw Venus Williams defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) to set up an all-American semi-final with Coco Vandeweghe.
In doing so Williams, 36, became the oldest woman to reach the last four of a grand slam since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.
“It’s wonderful to be here at the start of the year. I want to go further; I’m not happy with this,” said Williams, who has never won the title in Melbourne. “I’d like to be a champion. The mentality I walk on court with is: I deserve this.”
Unseeded Vandeweghe followed her elimination of champion Angelique Kerber with an emphatic 6-4, 6-0 victory over Spanish seventh seed Garbine Muguruza.