Roger Federer wary of Australian Open semi with unheralded South Korean sensation Hyeon Chung

share

Source:

AAP

Roger Federer doesn't know a lot about Hyeon Chung but he has seen enough similarities to Novak Djokovic to know he will be a fierce adversary in their Australian Open semi-final.

The defending champion on Wednesday night booked his 14th semi-final berth at Melbourne Park with a dominant 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-4 victory over old foe Tomas Berdych.

Federer was in imperious touch on Rod Laver Arena, firing off 61 winners and running his Czech rival ragged with some of his best shot-making of the tournament.

For the 36-year-old, it was another satisfying chapter in a rivalry that dates back well over a decade.

Friday night's semi-final against South Korean prodigy Chung promises something different entirely.

Federer has never played the ultra-athletic 21-year-old and admits he hasn't seen much of him either.

But Chung's similarity in style to six-time champion Djokovic - who the Korean beat in straight sets in the fourth round - is already giving Federer plenty to think about.

"I'll definitely have to look into how I need to play against him because he has some great qualities, especially defensively, like Novak has," Federer said.

"One thing I know is I'm going to be playing aggressive. I don't know how I'm going to do that exactly yet.

"I don't know exactly how he returns and how he serves. Those are two major aspects to the game. I have to figure that part out a little bit tonight or tomorrow."

Federer was full of praise for Chung's "incredible" win over Djokovic, which the youngster backed up with a straight-sets victory over American upstart Tennys Sandgren.

"To beat him here is one of the tough things to do in our sport," Federer said.

"I don't quite know exactly who else he beat throughout the tournament. But to bounce back from a Novak match and just somehow get it done today, this afternoon, that's tough.

"That shows that he's had good composure, a great mindset.

"Also physically he must have recovered, because Novak is going to give you a bit of a workout."

Chung will be the first unseeded opponent Federer has come up against in the final four at Melbourne Park since his victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the 2006 final.

It's a different challenge for the 19-time grand slam winner but one he believes is good for the game.

"They've got to make a move," Federer said of the tour's rising stars

"I find it disappointing when their breakthroughs come at 27, because then we know them for seven years, let's say.

"I hardly know Chung. I've hardly spoken to him. In a way I like it, because it's really something totally new to me."

loading error

refresh

LATEST

POPULAR

FEATURED

sport