Halep, Federer, Chung through to semi-finals

Roger Federer Serena Williams Andy Murray

The defending champion was leading 6-1, 5-2 when Chung called it quits with foot blisters after being treated in a medical timeout for the problem just two games earlier.

After 1 hour and 2 minutes with the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena, he's now 7-7. "Tomas played great. I stole that one a little bit". I know that I can win close matches and also, yeah, going out there and playing good in the bigger tournaments. And just the sight of Berdych across the net probably made Federer feel good. "I'm really happy I got out of that first set. He's had such a wonderful tournament".

From that point, the five time Australian Open victor continued the momentum and took the second and third set with spectacular precision and shot selection at the net.

Marin Cilic beat Kyle Edmund in straight sets in the first Australian Open semi-final.

And he has had the edge over Cilic in the past, with the Croat's only victory against him coming in that US Open semi-final three-and-a-half years ago.

Roger Federer acknowledges the crowd after defeating Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, today. However, he noted that Chung's game, which features clay-court style sliding on hardcourts, could take a toll. It would be the second time for Federer at the Australian Open after powering through the 2007 event without losing a set. "I can't walk any more".

"I think I did right thing. I'm happy I'm still around, still healthy, still playing good, giving myself chances, playing the best". I didn't feel I was facing a guy who had just lost two round-robin matches.

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But their last meeting in a Grand Slam stands out, particularly for the wrong reasons for Cilic.

"I think (I have) a lot of confidence", he said.

Federer started to sense something was wrong with Chung by the movement of his rival, and he was utterly dominant until that point.

Though Chung can't claim that sort of mental hold over the 36-year-old, doubts will no doubt be creeping into the 19-time major winner's mind as he prepares to face a player whose game is a mirror image of the Serb's.

With a world ranking of only 58th, Chung's success has been, for many, surprising, especially considering his victories over tennis greats such as Djokovic and fellow young stars like Alexander Zverev, the number four ranked singles player in the world.

The Australian Open remains the missing link for the Russian pair — they won the 2013 French Open, 2014 U.S.Open and 2017 Wimbledon and were striving to become only the sixth women's team to complete all four doubles majors in the Open era.

He didn't let anyone down in a clinical dismantling of the No. 58-ranked Chung, who won the Next Gen ATP Finals last November.

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