Federer moves into Australian Open final after Chung retires, will play Cilic for 20th Major title | Zagsblog
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Sunday / July 14.
  • Federer moves into Australian Open final after Chung retires, will play Cilic for 20th Major title

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    Roger Federer will get to defend his Australian Open title on Sunday against Marin Cilic.

    Federer cruised into the final after his semifinal opponent, Korea’s Hyeon Chung, retired with blisters on his left foot down 6-1, 5-2.

    Chung had taken out Novak Djokovic, a potential Federer semifinal opponent, en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal.

    Now Federer will try to win his 20th career major title against Cilic, whom Federer beat in last year’s Wimbledon final, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, when Cilic himself was bothered by blisters. Federer, 36, is the oldest man to reach an Australian Open final since 1972.

    “Clearly I’m incredibly happy to be in the finals but not like this,” Federer said on court.

    Chung’s agent, Stuart Duguid, explained the player’s condition after the match.

    “Over the last few days, it was blister under blister under blister,” he said. “He had it shaved off. Now it’s red raw. They tried injections to see if it numbed the pain. It didn’t work.”

    Asked how much pain he was in, Chung said: “I don’t know. I really hurt. I can’t walk no more.”

    Federer leads Cilic 8-1 all-time, but Cilic crushed Federer in the 2014 US Open semifinals en route to his only major title.

    “He brings the power and basically everything,” Federer said on court of Cilic, who beat top seed Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals when Nadal retired with a hip injury and then Brit Kyle Edmund in straight sets in the semis on Thursday.  “Having two days off and not having a brutal semi, I think that’s going to help him a lot. We’ll see a fresh Marin.”

    Of the US Open semifinal, Federer said: “He crushed me in that US Open semi. He did beat me badly. I’m excited to play against him. He’s a great guy. We won the Laver Cup together.”

    “I think this is revenge for Cilic,” Mats Wilander said on Eurosport of the Wimbledon final.

    A year ago, Federer hadn’t won a major since Wimbledon in 2012, but then beat Nadal in five sets in the final — after trailing 3-1 — to capture his 18th major. He went on to win Wimbledon for his 19th. Nadal won the French Open and US Open in 2017 and stands second all-time with 16 major titles.

    “I was going to be happy if I won one more major before I retired,” Federer said. “Here I am. I won two more, maybe a third.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.

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