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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / September 26.
  • Roger Federer is Now Bookies’ Favorite to Win Australian Open

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    After taking out Mischa Zverev in the Australian Open quarterfinals, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is now the bookies’ favorite to win the tournament.

    Federer is now a 9/4 favorite to win the title, per Oddschecker.com. He is followed closely by Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Rafael Nadal.

    The 35-year-old Federer is the No. 17 seed and hasn’t won a Major title since capturing Wimbledon in 2012.

    When the draw came out, he appeared to face long odds because he could have had to go through No. 10 Tomas Berdych, No. 5 Kei Nishikori and No. 1 Andy Murray just to reach the semifinals.

    Federer was also coming off a six-month layoff and hadn’t played since losing to Raonic in the Wimbledon semifinals.

    But Zverev stunned Murray in the fourth round, and Federer then took care of the serve-and-volleying Zverev, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2, to advance to his 41st Grand Slam semifinal and his 13th in Australia. Federer also improved to 13-0 in Australian Open quarterfinals.

    Federer became the oldest men’s semifinalist in Australia since Arthur Ashe in 1978.

    Now Federer gets his Swiss countryman Wawrinka, against whom he is 18-3 all-time and has never lost on a hardcourt.

    Still, Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champ, has won 12 straight Grand Slam matches dating to the 2016 US Open, where he beat Novak Djokovic in the final.

    “I’m happy for him that he’s gotten this far but he doesn’t need to go one step further,” Federer said. “Stan, I’m joking somewhat.”

    Federer has a winning record against every man remaining in the tournament except for his longtime rival Nadal, who faces Raonic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

    Nadal is 23-11 against Federer.

    Speaking on ESPN, newly-minted Hall of Famer Andy Roddick says he likes Federer to win the tournament so long as he doesn’t have to play Nadal in the final.

    “Nothing much has changed in 15 years,” Roddick said of the Federer-Nadal rivalry.

    Roddick also said a Federer-Nadal final would be the greatest — and most significant — Grand Slam match in history.

    “Who wouldn’t want to see a match up between Roger and Rafa with history on the line?” Roddick told the Sunday Morning Herald.

    “If you think about the historical significance of what that match would look like, one at 14 slams, one at 17 slams, Rafa wins, it’s 15-17, and the French Open is around the corner, it’s back on. It’s literally game on for the most slams ever. If Roger wins, it’s 18-14. I don’t know that that divide gets made up.

    “If that happens, it has to be the most important match in Australian Open history and possibly grand slam history.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.