Men’s Semi Finals:
No. 2 Roger Federer beat Hyeon Chung 6-1, 5-2 ret.
No. 5 Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos beat No. 2 Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-3.
Roger Federer booked his spot in the 2018 Australian Open final with consummate ease on Friday, as South Korean Hyeon Chung retired through injury late in the second set of their semi-final. The Swiss was leading 6-1, 5-2 when the 21-year-old called time on the encounter two games on from taking a medical timeout for treatment on a blister.
But the 36-year-old had played a brilliant match until Chung’s retirement, and there is little doubt Federer would have advanced had his opponent had continued playing.
The defending champion now has the chance to win a 20th Grand Slam title against Cilic in Sunday’s final. The Croatian beat Briton Kyle Edmund in straight sets on Thursday to reach his first final in Melbourne, but he will need to produce the performance of a lifetime if he is to down Federer.
Day Thirteen Preview:
There’ll be a first-time major winner after the Australian Open women’s final, with top-ranked Simona Halep and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki vying for a breakthrough Grand Slam singles title. Both will be playing their third final at a major, and their first in Australia. The winner also is assured of being No. 1 when the next rankings are released. Both have saved match points to reach the final — with Halep having to do it in the third round and in the semifinals.
Halep, who has lost two French Open finals — including last year when she led by a set and a break — says she’s had a change of mentality at Melbourne Park. “I was not afraid of losing,” she said after her win over semifinal win over 2016 champion Angelique Kerber. “I won those balls, and then I got the confidence back that I’m still alive and I can do it.” Wozniacki, who has lost two U.S. Open finals, says “I always believed in myself. I was just giving myself time. I think if you don’t feel like you can go all the way in tournaments, then to me there’s no sense in playing.”
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