Defending champion Roger Federer welcomed the prospect of facing new opponents, even if his last-four rival bears similarities to former world No1 Novak Djokovic, after reaching the Australian Open semi-final.
Second seed Federer beat Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 6-4, in the duo’s 10th meeting at a grand slam. An eighth win for the Swiss propelled him to a 14th Australian Open semi-final, where he will face South Korea’s Hyeon Chung on Friday.
The prospect remains for Federer to meet Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who plays Croatia’s Marin Cilic on Thursday morning, in Sunday’s final, and the five-time winner believes the emergence of fresh talent is vital for the game.
“Chung reminds me of Novak, sliding across the back of the court and getting balls back,” said Federer. “I’ve never played Chung or Edmund. It’s great to see new names on the scene. We need it.”
In the women’s draw, world No1 Simona Halep thrashed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2 to set up a semi-final tussle with Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who hammered Madison Keys 6-1, 6-2.