World No. 1 Roger Federer turned around a rough start to defeat No. 6 seed Nikolay Davydenko 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 7-5 on Wednesday, advancing into the Australian Open semifinals where he will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“I was a touch worried, let’s say,” said Federer regarding the fast-starting Russian who beat Federer in their last outing.
Trailing 2-6, 1-3, Federer won 13 games in a row to take control of the match and reach his 23rd consecutive Slam semifinal.
“When the sun comes from the side, you get the feeling that obviously the one side’s in the sun and the other one is in the shade because of it,” Federer said of his early problems with the sun’s placement in the sky. “The ball seems half the size and is just hard to hit. Then there was a bit of a breeze, and he was playing terrific.”
Davydenko was at a loss for the moment that turned the tide in the Swiss’ favor, but says his poor serving did not help.
“I don’t know what’s happened there, like after 3-1 in the second set,” the Russian said. “Today I have no first serve. That was really bad luck for me. But I remember every time I play against him last two matches I won, I have good first serve.”
The best player to never win a Slam thinks he’ll still have his chances this year.
“I have good chance Paris, US Open,” Davydenko said. “Depends like how I apply in other tournaments and how my feeling in other Masters Series tournaments. Like if you go to America, Indian Wells, Miami. Really if I beat against Federer in these tournaments, maybe have much more confidence.”
Federer will next face the well-traveled No. 10 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who outlasted No. 3 Novak Djokovic 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Tsonga raced to an early 2-0 lead in the fifth set, and by the end Djokovic could do no more than flail at balls as the Frenchman clinched victory and a well-earned Federer meeting.
Thursday at the Australian Open will see the first men’s semifinal contested in (14) Marin Cilic vs. (5) Andy Murray.
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