Federer Wins Emotional Physio-Calling Battle Over Wawrinka to Gain Australian Open Final
by Staff | January 26th, 2017, 8:04 am
  • 68 Comments

Roger Federer held off a furious comeback by Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka on Thursday night at the Australian Open, winning in five sets 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 to become the first player into the 2017 final in Melbourne.


He awaits either Rafael Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov, who will play Friday night.

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” said Federer. “I felt like everything happened so quickly at the end, I had to check the score. I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I’d come this far in Australia. It’s beautiful, I’m so happy.”

It is the sixth career Australian Open final for the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who has never lost to Wawrinka on hardcourt.

Federer has won four times in Melbourne in his career, most recently in 2010. Wawrinka won the Aussie Open title in 2014.

Wawrinka gave away the first set late with unforced errors, and at 2-3 in the second broke a racquet when the unforced errors crept back in, appearing to battle tears after losing the second set. In the third set, after a medical time-out to strap below his right knee, Wawrinka’s movement seemed hindered but it appeared to get into Federer’s head as the former No. 1′s intensity dropped and he lost six straight games and the third set. Wawrinka’s vastly-improved movement in the fourth brought him back in the match, breaking at 4-4 with a stunning running crosscourt winner. The fifth set turned when Wawrinka dropped serve at 2-3 and Federer closed it out for his 99th match win at the Australian Open.

Federer after losing the fourth set had his own injury time-out.

“I have had a leg thing going on for a week and felt it from the second game on in the match,” he said. “If you go off the court, that means the treatment is further up the leg. I never take injury timeouts. Stan took his, so I thought people won’t be mad — Stan won’t be mad hopefully. You hope something works, and that the physio has some magic hands going on.”

Federer improved to 19-3 career against Wawrinka.

The 35-year-old Swiss is 5-0 career against Dimitrov and 11-23 against Nadal.

“Rafa has presented me with the biggest challenge in the game,” Federer said. “I’m his No. 1 fan. His game is tremendous. He’s an incredible competitor. I’m happy we had some epic battles over the years and of course it would be unreal to play here. I think both of us would never have thought we would be here playing in the final.”


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68 Comments for Federer Wins Emotional Physio-Calling Battle Over Wawrinka to Gain Australian Open Final

madmax Says:

Roger Federer held off a furious comeback by Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka on Thursday night

I’ll say!

Great match. I held my breath during many of those moments. I am so pleased for this result. Sunday does not bear thinking about.


madmax Says:

in terms of pressure, for both guys – whoever they may be. It has become so much easier in a way to watch other players in the final, because Federer has not been on tour the last six months, but the excitement, stress and sheer tension will be felt, I am certain – by many, many, fans.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Boy! That was nerve wracking!

Federer barely escaped. Stan was better in the 3rd and 4th, and start of the 5th, but Rog held him off from getting a break, and then just became impervious in the home stretch.

I found something very odd in this match, related to that ‘Stan in charge’ part of it: First two sets, Roger came to the net a lot and was really in control. 3rd and 4th, he just stopped coming forward. He had a couple S+V’s, and a couple where he had no choice, but he never moved in in the rallies as he had in sets 1+2. Lo and behold, Stan began to dominate at the baseline and Roger started to lose.

But even after it was clear that Roger was losing at the baseline, he never went back to that net game. I kept wondering if something was wrong with him before he called for the MTO.

The stats bear out what I thought I saw.
Set 1: 12/17 at net
Set 2: 8/12

Roger wins those two sets.

Set 3: just 5/6 at net – so HALF the approaches of set 2, and 1/3 the approaches of set 1
Set 4: just 2/5– less than 1/3 the approaches of set 1!

Roger loses those sets. Gets physio on his leg.

Set 5: 8/10 at net, and wins the set.

So, Roger was hiding it, but I think something must have been stopping him from coming forward, the change in tactics was dramatic and really cost him two sets.

I hope the time off will help, because he is going to need every aspect of his game against Rafa (yeah, yeah, IF).


madmax Says:

TV,

I hear you. Roger said something about the leg – (or was it the groin area?) – he alludes to his. This interview, post match, is great, with humour at the end too. You spotted it well TV, intuition did not let you down today!

Just love the guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKQUeRbFS-k

I am so excited, so very, very proud of Roger. We all love him.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I also really enjoy the respect and friendship between these two. I think Stan said they practice every week. Great interviews from each of them beforehand, and nice exchange at the net.

Some posters here constantly bring up their little beef at the WTF; honestly, you have to wonder if these people have ever had friends. When you have friends, you also fight – and that is 100% true, no exception, when you play sports against each other. These guys have won Olympic gold and David Cup together, and never stopped being positive for each other before and after the little spat.


Gordon Says:

A bit of trivia – the last time the Williams sisters faced each other in a Grand Slam Final was Wimbledon – the same year Federer had the 5 setter against Roddick.

A Rafa – Roger final would be HUGE! One of these two things happens if they meet -

1) The Slam Total lead Fed has drops to 17 – 15 with Nadal looming as the favorite at Roland Garros where he could narrow the gap to 1. Also, Nadal becomes the first man in the modern era to win eah Grand Slam title at least once,

OR

2) The Slam Total lead Fed has increases to 18 – 14, giving Roger a 4 slam edge, making it much tougher for Rafa and Nole to overtake him.

It would be oneof the best matches of the year methinks.


Gordon Says:

Whoa – I neede to proof read. That should read Rafa would be the first man in the modern era to win each Grand Slam event at least TWICE.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/nickmccarvel/status/824583964945833985
So he admitted he faked the MTO!!!!?????
Fakerer!


skeezer Says:

So the last competitve tournament Fed has played in was back in July (Wimby). First tourney back playing and he is in a GS final! Crazy!


skeezer Says:

Giles,
I’m going to give you a pass this time on your “fake post”. Just don’t do it again:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/sports/tennis/roger-federer-stan-wawrinka-australian-open-semifinal.html
Read.


Daniel Says:

And he should have went to that GS final as well Skeeze. That semis agaisnt Raonic was bizarre.

Any one knows how is Fed´s 5 set record now?

Gordon,

That match would be on eof the most importanjt matches in Grand Slam history, it can basically but an end to the GOAD debate.

Giles,

He said he had a leg issue, which is probably groin, hence he could´t have treatment on court, somehting he had before. Stan weas more strange, unless we took a piss, because he could have tapped the knee on court. And even if he took to stop the match, he was right to do so. He is the top player who leats uses MTO, Stan used and start winning after, so he returned the favor. I bet Nadal will use if in a simialr position, as was the case in many, many times before, including that bizarre before Fed´s MP in IW 2012. So, don´t be naive, less…


Margot Says:

Lol Daniel…even by standards of your phone posts…loving the image of Stan “tapping his knee on court!”
ROFL


Miles Says:

Tennis Vagabond – yes, I noticed that, too.

However, I don’t know whether Federer didn’t feel comfortable coming forward, or whether he got sucked into a baseline game following Stan’s MTO. The emotional way Stan left the court might’ve made Federer assume that Stan was going to retire from the match. Even when the match resumed, Federer then probably thought Stan wouldn’t be able to keep up with a baseline game – hence the change in tactics/and loss of focus. By the end of the 3rd set, Stan had regained his mojo and wasn’t giving Federer many opportunities to get to the net.

Whichever, I hope Federer is fit for Sunday!


Daniel Says:

LOL Margot, sometimes I think my phone has a will of it´s own.


Giles Says:

Lol. These 2 Sui’s know all the tricks of the trade!!
skeezer. Don’t get me riled up. Your man faked the MTO and that is a fact!


RZ Says:

@Daniel and Margot – great, now we have to debate GOAD too? :-)


RZ Says:

Elina has taken the lead in the racket bracket. The only way she won’t win is if Rafa wins the tournament, in which case J.S. wins (but J.S. already won the price for most enthusiastic bracket contestant).


Giles Says:

Lol. They are calling him Cheaterer and deservedly so!


Danica Says:

Wow, what an amazing result for Federer. In fact, if Rafa wins today, it will be a flashback of olden times when the Williams sisters and Fedal ruled the game. All of them veterans but showing to the younger guys what perseverance and motivation really mean.

Yes, if Rafa wins the AO, he will be the first player to achieve double career slam.


SG1 Says:

I think the final is compelling whether it’s Nadal or Dimitrov (though I can’t deny the Fedal finals appeal). Can the young Fed-like Dimitrov take down the master and set a path for himself? Gonna’ be a good one no matter how it turns out. I have to admit that I’m pulling for Rafa. Never thought he’d have a chance to be in another AO final.


Willow Says:

Margot lol, sometimes i think of the late Gordon Kaye in “Allo Allo ” when i read Daniels posts, not in a mean spirited way, just sometimes the typos look quite funny ;-) ….


Daniel Says:

My sentiments is similar to FedExpress, regardless of bias towrdas Nadal. iff Fed loses a fourth Slam final in a row and Nadal, who didn´t win a HC title in 3 years, sudenly finds himself in another AO final, in a quick court and even so happens to win, wouldn´t seem “fair” to me, like Fed is more deserving at this point with what he´s been through and having to face an in form Djoko in his last 3.
But that is sport. You gotta takes our chances and if Nadal wins with no Slams final lost in that oeriod, not his problem. He two will have a comeback story winning a Slam after a hiatus of 11 Slams and no semis/finals.

But I´ll rather Fed gets this AO and Nadal next RG (La Decima would mean more to him). That would be more “deserving” for both fan basis.


Willow Says:

Daniel have to ask, have you ever seen Brit comedy “Allo Allo ” ? lol ….


Willow Says:

I Can imagine the conversation, if Rafa were to win this AO and then RG, he would be closing in on Federers 17, all speculation, but good fun though ….


Willow Says:

Id rather Nadal got AO, for a second career GS, dont care who gets the FO ….


Bob Lewis Says:

Congrats to Federer on another slam final, quite an achievement. If he plays Nadal, all that fans ask is that he keep it competitive. That shouldn’t be too much, methinks. The last time Fed has beaten Nadal in outdoor hc match feels like eons ago. This is a fast surface…can he win just once?

No disrespect meant to Dimitrov, who has the chance to shock the world himself by beating two historic greats consecutively. Don’t think that will happen, but you never know. :)


Daniel Says:

No Willow, will check it on youtube or try to download it


madmax Says:

Oh, already been talking to work colleagues about a potential FEDAL final on Sunday. Cannot help it. It is so tempting, but have to stop the chatter in my head for now and try to enjoy the match for tomorrow.

Willow, I agree. Watching the AO Grand Slam right now is playing hell with my sleep pattern.


Willow Says:

Daniel sorry it wasnt meant in a disrespectful way ….


Danica Says:

Hey Willow,
How about Rafa wins the AO and Nole wins RG ? :) Each to have two of those ;)


Margot Says:

RZ: Was wondering about that, Greatest Of All D? Perhaps Daniel’s phone can fill us in?
;)


Margot Says:

Duh!
It’s obviously “Greatest of ALL Daniels!” Must be talking about Nestor all along when we thought he was talking about Fed….


Willow Says:

Danica im cool with that ! ….


RZ Says:

@Margot – could be. :-) Or perhaps Greatest of All Day? In which case Fed wins by default for being the only men’s singles player who played yesterday.


Chrisford1 Says:

Maybe not a typo, but a far more rational and defensible sports “title” than GOAT. A lot easier to say who was the greatest in heir top decade of years vs. the competition than GOAT. All hail GOAD! And since Roger got 12 of his 17 in a weak era, before the time of Rafa, Novak, and Andy – saying he was GOAD of the 2000s is better than arguing who was best of all time. And Rafa and Novak can duke it out on who was the best in the decade spanning 2007-2007.
And has been argued all the time, there is more to pro tennis than “Slamcount”….which limits achievement only to a trophy count at 4 tournaments, not who was a better player in all events played.
In 20 years, we could be saying each of the Big 4 has a right to claim “Legend” status for different reasons. Andy maybe Rafa, Novak, Roger, Borg, Sampras, Laver, and maybe Lendl – for different reasons that can be considered in many cases unique to their time, the tactics and equipment and surface conditions, and level of competition. And Masters 1000s, gold medals, Davis Cup, and WTFs all have to be thrown into the factoring. Along with toughness, H2Hs, who had the best combo of speed, serve, mental strength, good health, consistent excellence in skills past the serve.
And in 20 years, have the numbers crunching algorithms to back it up.


kjb Says:

CF1 picks a weird time to bring up weak era. But everyone knows that Novak got 8 out of 12 of his Grand slams in the weakest of all weak eras 2012-2016.


Chrisford1 Says:

Better for Rafa, I believe, if he gets the AO than Another Big Clay Title
He is already the best clay court player even over time because clay and its way of being played are the least changed in the last 40 years. Getting 5 more clay court Masters 1000s or one FO will not change that.
His legacy, that his fans likely will have to defend against Roger-adoring fans, is that Rafa was far more than a clay player who occasionally gor lucky and got a handful of trophies on other surfaces.
“La Decima”, the Holy 10th trophy at the only clay major would only reinforce that Rafa was stunted off clay at the other 3 majors, other 6 Masters and the WTF.
I suspect Nadal would love another RG win. But not as much as a double career Slam gained by winning the AO, which would throw dirt all over the Fed diss that Rafa is a one dimensional player best suited for one surface and not as “complete a player” as he, Roger, was..


Willow Says:

ATM Im delighted Rafa has got this far, never wouldve expected him to get this far a fortnight ago, i think it just goes to show anything can happen in this sport, ive enjoyed the unpredictability of this GS, on both the mens and womens side, but hopefully we will get a classic ending on both sides ….


Chrisford1 Says:

You know the “weak era” strikes at the heart of Fed fans. Who are reduced to a farcical argument hinging on their ability to plausibly glorify Hewitt, Roddick and off in La La Land Safin as the equals of Novak, Rafa, and Andy.
And that H2Hs in the weak era over the likes of Roddick was tremendously significant – but is H2Hs against Big 4 rivals is is “meaningless”, notably Rafas basic ownership of Fed beginning in 2008.


kjb Says:

@cf1

Fed just beat two top 5 players and hes almost 40. Andy and Novak lost to nobodies before the quarters. What do they have to do with anything? Your jealousy is really showing. Another slam final baby, mmmmmm gravy, tastes so good. Especially when your a senior citizen. Hahaha.


Willow Says:

Who cares, theres a semi and a final of this GS left to play, the rest is something that can be left for another day surely ? ….


Daniel Says:

AO always is a sleeping nightmare. I know it is 2 weeks in zombi mode. Tomorrow will try to wake up early again but don’t know if I can.

No prob Willow;-)


kjb Says:

@Daniel

No Doubt, I’m on the west coast and its terrible! Is the final a night match?


J-Kath Says:

Gosh – I thought Federer was 35. Where did I lose almost 5 years?


Daniel Says:

Yeah, final is Sunday 7 pm local time, 6 am for me in Rio, on Sunday, Summer and Saturday is my birthday, so you get the picture (hangover drunk watching finals). And usually I don’t DO 6 am, ever!!


skeezer Says:

@3:44 post.
Member of Novak jealous squad takes multiple paragraphs to rant on Fed. Debunked in one. Lol..


J-Kath Says:

I also didn’t realise Federer was absent between 2012 and 2016 – was he injured?


Daniel Says:

skeeze,

It’s a pre excuse to already discredit Fed’s potential 18 Slam, because deep down they know what it will represent. Tennis world will go ballistic!

Bar set high to stratosphere standards once more for everybody else to follow.

Noted that suddenly Djoko’s fanatics vanished. They are in complete disbelief that something like this could actually be happening. They thought Fed and Nadal were done winning Slams for good. I myself thought they have little chance, but I always said they still have chances in specific Slams (Fed Wimby and Nadal RG). But some were category in counting them off, CDP, Dave and the usual suspects. Now one is already in finals, so we have a 2/3 shot (which actually is higher because Dimi beating Nadal and Fed back to back is highly unlikely) of one of them winning a Slam again. And there was no Djoko to “singlehanded ended FEDAL era for good”. It will be the nail in the coffin for their recent astral inferno.

But in case Dimi wins, they will comeback relived and magnanimous with the I told you so attitude. But just by these recent silence it already adds a half smile in my face;-)


skeezer Says:

J-Kath,
Would like to also know about this apparently great decade:
“And Rafa and Novak can duke it out on who was the best in the decade spanning 2007-2007.”


RZ Says:

@Skeezer – LOL, kinda like the Greatest of all Day (GOAD)


Berghain Says:

I see things are heating up here nicely.
CF1 whats up? Cant you save the basing for ‘if’ he wins :)?. I think he didnt look to sharp in the end so he will likely not take the title, and we (Fedfans) will all be sad enough in that case… Then you can really rub it in hihi.


kjb Says:

@jkath

Hes closer to 40 then he is to 30. As for Fed, the past 3 years hes been busy making more slam finals then anyone other then Novak. What a strong era.


rognadfan Says:

2012-2016: Not the weak era because Federer was there and Novak Beat Federer several times.

Yeah right!

2013 onwards: The GOAT aged, the young guns failed to show up and Novak’s contemporary (Murray) was just a a bit more than mediocre.

Still the argument goes on: Federer was there, and Novak beat hims many times. That’s why Novak is better than Federer!

Just too much inferiority complex brewing over the Djokerfan world.


rognadfan Says:

And now a player close to 40, comes back after 6 month hiatus, beats 3 top 5 players and marches on to Final while their god lost to a nobody (one many may not have even heard of). Oh wait, now there come excuses: something is wrong, he is going to retire…..,etc


J-Kath Says:

kjb: By a squeak – he’s far closer to 30 than to 40 for the next 2 years. I am a bit surprised that you want him to be close to 40? I would have thought that it was excellent to say he was older than the majority of his contestants and still managed to win. Why not settle for he is the strongest of the older players in the field and able to contest many who are younger?

Ah well – not to worry – we all say unususual things.


kjb Says:

@JKath I don’t really have any idea what you are trying to get at, and Fed or Fedfans don’t have to settle for anything. He achievements and longevity in the sport can’t be compared to anyone because no one is even close. Win or lose on Sunday, what he has done the past week are the things legends are made of.


Daniel Says:

J-Kath,

In math terms when Fed was 1 day older than 35 he is already closer to 40 than he is to 30. After 30 there is 31, 32, 33, 34 – 35 is the middle. Till 40 there is 36, 37, 38, 39. 35 mark the precise middle or media of the thirties, 35 and 1 day and you are closer to 40 than 30, hence kjb stand correct😜

I know it because turn 35 a year ago and my mini middle 30 crisis began, becuase I knew I am a step closer to 40 than 30. Similar as 5,1 is closer to 10,0 than 0,0.


Berghain Says:

Daniel im sure hoping that most people know about Rounding numbers. :))
Cute of you to go into detail. haha sorry I thought it was funny. Anyway Go Fed!


RZ Says:

No one’s talking about doubles, but the men’s final has the old guard (Bryans) vs the new guard (Kontinen/Peers). The way Kontinen/Peers finished last year could indicate that they will be the next dominant team on tour.


Chrisford1 Says:

Yep, Fed’s great yadayada. He actually is. But he is also had some serious statistics padding in a low competition era where he won most of his stuff before 3 other greats came along. Besides H2H, it is the one thing Fed fans hate to hear. Fed fans Fail to realize that most of the resentment by non-Fed fans is not directed at him, but the Fed writers and fans.

The guy that had it the toughest competition level, IMO, was maybe one of the top stars with the highest level of toughness against all foes – Rafa Nadal.
Not that Novak and Andy had it much easier than Rafa.
But Rafa fought and finally beat Fed, only to have his 2 years as clear Boss interrupted by the Madrid 2009 injuries in the middle, then the rise of Novak 2.0 and a 5 year long battle with Djokovic, the most played rivalry in the Open Era..

Andy Murray had to work for years on people all but openly saying he was a stunted ginger failure best kept away from view to spare himself and all others the shame. (Wait the Brit tabloids ran with that for years!!)A stunted ginger non-bona fide Big 4 guy. A loser bound to keep on losing to betters like Novak, Rafa and the peerless and semi-godlike Federer….


skeezer Says:

“Fed’s great yadayada.”
Glad you know it👍


kjb Says:

@CF1

Yep, By the time Fed was Djokovics age is now he had just won his 16th major, been to 18 out of the last 19 slam finals and like every champion before and since, Djokovic and Nadal included the production stops. Once you hit 29-30 the titles don’t come as easy anymore. Its nice to see Nadal to make another run here and time will tell if Nadal and Djokovic are going to be making slam finals 6 years from now like Fed is. You keep regurgitating the padded stats argument but how are his stats any more padded then Djokovics last 4 years? He has 3 GS final wins over a guy who is 10 years past his prime who is still making finals in this so called stronger era, it makes zero sense. If a 35 year old who doesn’t play for 6 months comes baack to tour and in his first tournament back he makes the final beating 2 top 5 studs that have recently beating Novak in the business end of slams, please fill me in how this field is any stronger then 2004-2007? Because Murray and Nadal are here? Nadal hasn’t done anything for 3-4 years. Murray has lost his last 5 or 6 matches to Fed. There has been Djokovic. With the only guy that has even really pushed him at all is a aged champ, 10 year past his best.


kjb Says:

More importantly…..What was the deal with Mirka’s sweater last night?!/


rognadfan Says:

Actually, the there is a very strong case for 2012-2016 being the weakest era in tennis in a long time; for the reasons I posted earlier and what kjb has stated (at 9:06pm). 2004-2007 actually had players that were much stronger than the gang of so called top players now.

Is this simply a strong era because Fed didn’t retire at 2012 and Nole had a chance to improve his H2H against him?
Just look at the other top ten, Stan was a mental midget until couple years ago (well into his late 20s); and the rest of the guys, you can never count them to make deep runs in bigger tournaments.
And yet 2004-2007 was weaker than this. Basically, this would suggest that guys like Safin, Nalbandian were inferior to likes of Marin Cilic or Tsonga or Berdych (who somehow hang onto top ten but don’t win anything else, bar cilic’s USopen fluke).


J.S. Says:

KJB – do you know what her ugly sweater said on the front???


kjb Says:

I think I read somewhere it was “Blinded by love” in french.


Betterer Says:

@CF1:

Will you actually stop your weak era theory for good if Fed wins this AO, and then maybe 1-2 more? Or would that still be considered a weak era achievement that he actually managed to outlast the prime of Djokovic and Murray?


Truth Says:

Roddick – #1 for the 2003 vacation time then the usually absent clown Safin beat him and Fed cruised to #1.

LMAO In 2007, Blake was #4, and the NOBODY player ranked above FRAUD #6 Roddick, was the one horrible USA choker that managed to destroy Fed at the Olympics.

Fed blames the many 2008 clay matches for losing on grass. How embarrassing for the Davis Cup avoider.
Clearly, the special treatment couldn’t save Fed. Poor spoiled brat Fed fans. Nothing is enough.

Yeah, that sums up Fraud “sportsmanship winner” Fed’s weak era and overrated “princess” life.

Top story: Federer Back On Course At ATP Finals; Anderson Cruising